Since the news broke Sunday, millions of Americans have been mourning the untimely death Kobe Bryant, a 41-year-old NBA legend who was killed in a helicopter accident over the weekend, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, according to ESPN.
Now, the final message Bryant posted to Twitter is being highlighted as a symbol of what the basketball star was really about, Fox News reports.
Moving the game forward
Bryant’s tweet was directed toward LeBron James, forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
James had just surpassed Bryant to claim the No. 3 spot on the NBA’s all-time high scoring list. To sports journalist Joe Vardon, Bryant’s gracious public acknowledgment of James’ achievement was indicative of his true character.
“The thing that has set Kobe apart from some of the greats before him and has changed the way basketball will be going forward is his willingness to mentor later on in his career,” Vardon, senior NBA writer for The Athletic said, according to Fox.
Vardon went on to say that Bryant’s reaction to James’ feat demonstrated that “once he realized that he had lost step and would be retiring, he wanted to be that bridge for the next batch of players to be great.”
Leaving a legacy
Countless fans of the basketball superstar took to social media Sunday as a way to praise Bryant’s legacy and express condolences to his family.
“Thank you for showing me how to pursue my dreams with single-minded focus and dedication. I didn’t have an older brother and looked up to you as one. Thank you for everything,” Pete Zayas, creator of “Laker Film Room” and co-host of the “Locked on Lakers” podcast, tweeted.
Singer and songwriter Becky G made her feelings known on Instagram, writing: “There really are no words. All I know is I have loved and admired this family since I was a young girl… My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with them and to the others involved in this tragic accident.”
Others shared photos of the former Lakers player and his family.
Rest In Peace Kobe the world is speechless we are heart broken… prayers to your family your wife your daughters 😭💔 pic.twitter.com/tX28uLG65h
— 👽 (@DrowzySZN) January 26, 2020