Tue, 25 Feb 2020

Los Angeles - NBA superstar LeBron James revealed that he was "heartbroken and devastated" over the death of Kobe Bryant while vowing in an Instagram post to continue Bryant's championship legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers.

WATCH | Tearful LeBron arrives in LA upon hearing of Kobe's death

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion in 20 seasons with the Lakers, died Sunday at age 41 in a helicopter crash only hours after Lakers star James overtook him for third on the league's all-time scoring list.

James posted.

The NBA postponed Tuesday's scheduled Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of Bryant's tragic death. The Lakers' next scheduled game is at home Friday against Portland.

James also made it clear he is still trying to process the shocking death of an iconic long-time rival and dear friend long before they had expected to say farewell, the crash having killed nine people in all, including Bryant's daughter Gigi.

James said to start his message.

The Lakers have won 16 NBA titles in team history, one shy of the Boston Celtics' all-time record. Bryant won five titles in seven NBA Finals appearances, taking crowns in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

But the Lakers have suffered six consecutive losing seasons since their last playoff appearance, including the final three campaigns of Bryant's career.

This season, the Lakers have the second-best record in the NBA at 36-10 to lead the Western Conference, with James averaging 25.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-best 10.7 assists a game.

James had reached the NBA Finals eight consecutive years and nine times in his career until last year's Lakers struggled in his first season with the club.

Bryant retired in 2016, the same year James fulfilled his life dream of winning an NBA title with his hometown club, the Cleveland Cavaliers, after having taken his first two crowns with the Miami Heat.

James led the Cavaliers into the NBA Finals the next two seasons, losing each time to Golden State, and in 2018 opted to leave Cleveland and join the Lakers.

James said his heart went out to Bryant's widow, Vanessa, and Kobe's surviving daughters.

James wrote.

James's message came alongside a photo of him in a Lakers uniform greeting Bryant as he rose from a courtside seat.

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