Kobe Bryant’s last tweet before his death was a congratulatory message to LeBron James on him surpassing Kobe to become the third-highest-scoring player in NBA. The retired LA Lakers star lost his place to fellow LA Lakers player ‘King’ James on Saturday.
Bryant had tweeted, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644”.
The #33644 meant that it was the number of points that James needed to become the third-leading scorer in NBA history. James scored the necessary points needed to surpass Kobe that night.
Speaking after the match to ESPN, LeBron James talked about how Kobe inspired him as a child and what kind of an impact did his words have on him. He said, “I went to ABCD camp, and he came and talked to all the kids that were there. I happened to be one of the kids that was there and I was just listening.”
He added, “I was just trying to soak up everything that I could and I remember one thing that he said. He was, like, ‘If you want to try to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats you have to put the work in. There’s no substitution for work.’”
Recalling an earlier encounter with Kobe, James said, “He gave me a pair of shoes that I ended up wearing the following night. It was the red-white-and-blue Kobes. I was a 15 and he was a 14, and I wore them anyway, and I sat and just talked to him for a bit. He gave me the shoes and I rocked them in the game.”
On him being compared to Kobe, LeBron said, “It’s surreal. It doesn’t make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life, and when you live the right way or you’ve just given everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically, and it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens. And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe.”
After receiving the news of Kobe’s death, James was seen grieving after he touched down in California on Sunday. He was met with emotional hugs. The video was shared by ESPN on Twitter.
Bryant, 41, along with his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others were killed in the crash on a steep, hilly area in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. All the nine people on board were travelling for Gianna’s basketball game which was to begin on Sunday afternoon in the Thousand Oaks area