00:16 GMT29 October 2020
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    The world lost one of its best basketball players on Sunday, and emotional tributes from fans, NBA legends and athletes from other sports keep pouring in.

    LeBron James has joined in the outpouring of grief over the untimely death of Kobe Bryant, revealing that he had spoken to the fellow NBA great just hours before the accident.

    “I’m Not Ready but here I go,” James wrote in a touching Instagram post along a series of photos of himself and Bryant. “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,” he added.

    “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.”

    "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!!"

    Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who spent his entire career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016, died on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

    The pilot told air traffic control in his last radio message that he was ascending to avoid dense fog and apparently took a left turn before plunging the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter into a steep hillside.

    Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and the couple’s three other daughters.

    An effort is underway to recover the remains of the victims. “It’s rugged terrain and it’s a very steep hill,” LA County sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters on Monday. “In fact, they had to bulldoze a road just to get a normal-size vehicle to the location, so it is very difficult.”

    “The first responders were air-dropped there, [which] kind of gives you an idea of the nature of the terrain.”

    Just one day before the fatal accident, James beat Bryant for the No. 3 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring chart. In his last tweet before his death, Bryant paid a tribute to the Lakers ace. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” he wrote. “Much respect my brother.”

    Tags:
    basketball, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant
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