LeBron James was among those who not only knew Kobe as a competitor on the court but also as a friend off of it.
After news of Bryant's death, LeBron took it hard, going silent for hours before posting a heartfelt goodbye on his social media.
“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,” LeBron shared.
“I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!”
He followed the post with another one dedicated to the Mamba, this time with a picture of the two embracing during a game in Los Angeles -- not long before Kobe's death.
"infinity my brother!! I love you man!!"
James was also present to witness Sierra Canyon High School's honoring of Kobe. Players for both sides began the game wearing Bryant shirts, and they both took 24-second violations to start the contest.
To say Bron is emotional about the whole situation might be an understatement. But it's understandable.
Kobe Bean Bryant was a mentor to Bron for years before the two became "rivals" on the court. No doubt, they shared a lot of words and battles, but also a lot of respect. When James joined the Lakers, Kobe was one of the first ones to welcome him, and the two clearly grew closer as superstars in the same city.
LeBron has a lot of feelings to let out, and I'd hate to have to be the team he takes it out on.