NBA superstar LeBron James broke his silence and paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in a heartbreaking post on Instagram late Monday. James, who last spoke with Bryant hours before his death, said he was "heartbroken and devastated" upon hearing the news.
"Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!" he wrote. "I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn't think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we'd have."
Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Less than a day earlier, Bryant was congratulating James on Twitter for passing him on the all-time scoring list after scoring a bucket during a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.
"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother," Bryant tweeted Saturday.
James wrote that he is now making his "responsibility" to continue on Bryant's legacy. "Man I love you big bro," he wrote on Instagram. "My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I'll continue your legacy man! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!"
"There's so much more I want to say but just can't right now because I can't get through it!" he added. "Until we meet again my brother!!"
Tributes have been pouring all over the world for Bryant, an American icon whose cultural impact went far beyond the NBA.