LeBron James has paid rich tributes to Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning alongside eight others including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

“I’m Not Ready but here I go. 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! 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. WTF!!,” James posted on his Instagram account.

Bryant had praised James for surpassing him as the third highest all-time point scorer in NBA history in what became his final post across social media accounts.

 
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I’m Not Ready but here I go. 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! 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. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. 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! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾

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“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644” Bryant had written on his Twitter account on Sunday.

James said he’s heartbroken as he promised to continue Bryant’s legacy.  “I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. 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 s*** on my back and keep it going!!” he wrote.

He continued, “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! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾”

Bryant was travelling in his private helicopter with daughter from his residence in Orange County to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Federal investigators have begun their probe into the crash.

Bryant retired from professional basketball in 2016, scoring 60 points in his final game for LA Lakers in what turned out to be a dream farewell at the Staples Center.