NBA

LeBron James Sends Heartfelt Message to Kobe Bryant After Winning NBA Title: ‘Hope I Made You Proud’

After Kobe Bryant‘s tragic death earlier this year, LeBron James only had one thing on his mind — win one for Kobe.

James went to Los Angeles to follow in Bryant’s footsteps and make the Lakers a championship organization once again. He finally had the team around him to make a run at the title this year, so he dedicated the 2020 NBA championship to his late friend. After coming through on his promise, James sent a heartfelt message to Bryant via Instagram, and it tugged at the heartstrings of basketball fans everywhere.

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash earlier this year

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In one of the most shocking athlete deaths in recent memory, Kobe Bryant passed away in January after the helicopter he was riding crashed in California. He was just 41 years old. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was also a victim of the crash.

Following the news, the basketball world came together to mourn one of its most iconic legends. Lakers fans surrounded the Staples Center to celebrate Bryant’s life within hours of his death. Hall of Famers and current players alike shared pictures and stories of their time with Kobe.

For many, his passing didn’t seem real. For LeBron James, he knew there was one thing he needed to do to correctly honor Bryant — bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to LA.

LeBron James dedicated the 2020 NBA title to Kobe Bryant

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A few days after Bryant’s death, James took to Instagram to share his thoughts and make a promise to his late friend.

I’m Not Ready but here I go. 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. WTF!! 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 and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! 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!! #Mamba4Life #Gigi4Life

LeBron James

“I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!” stuck out from the message. James continued to honor Bryant throughout the season, and he dedicated the 2020 NBA title to No. 24.

James sent Bryant a heartfelt message after winning his first title with the Lakers

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James came through on his promise and delivered the title he so desperately wanted to give the city of LA. But the 2020 NBA championship wasn’t for James, or LA, or anyone on the current roster. It was for Kobe.

James took to Instagram a few days after the dust settled to send an emotional message to Bryant.

“Hope I made you proud my brother!! Love and miss you Champ!! #BlackMamba 24-8-2,” James said along with a few sentimental pictures.

James’ most recent title might be the most emotional of his four so far. All season, he fought to honor Bryant with a championship, and he knows Kobe was looking down with a smile as James held that trophy up in his purple and gold.