The forward for the Los Angeles Lakers took to Instagram on Monday night - one day after Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others.
"I'm Not Ready but here I go," James started his post. "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!"
James went on to say that he heard Bryant's voice Sunday morning before he left Philadelphia to head back to LA, and he had no idea that it would be the last conversation they would ever have.
He went on to promise Bryant that he would continue his legacy:
"You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it's my responsibility to put this **** on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me!"
Bryant's final tweet was a nod to James after he just passed him as the NBA's 3rd-highest scorer of all time.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
The NBA icon was one of nine people killed when a helicopter crashed into rough terrain in Calabasas, California Sunday morning.
The crash also killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, two coaches at schools in Orange County, the wife and daughter of one of those coaches, the pilot, and a mother and her daughter.
The crash remains under investigation.