A few days after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals, LeBron James honored the late Kobe Bryant with a short message on Instagram.
James finished with a job well done after leading the Lakers to their 17th NBA championship, a tribute fit for the Lakers legend.
“Hope [I] made you proud my brother!!” the Finals MVP wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday, accompanied with three photos.
“Love and miss you Champ!!” he added, adding the snake, purple, and yellow heart emojis, #BlackMamba hashtag, and the numbers 28,8, and 2 which were all related to Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other victims.
The first photo shows a black and white digital art by Jeff Cole, with LeBron sitting and a #24 Laker jersey hanging on his lap.
The 35-year-old James recalled his promise to the former Lakers star a day he passed away in the second slide, vowing to continue Bryant’s legacy as part of the Lakers organization and as a role model in basketball and to the younger generation.
The third photo shows the newly-crowned Lakers team huddling and holding their 2020 NBA trophy.
The Lakers have constantly paid homage to Bryant and wore the commemorative Black Mamba jerseys on several occasions.
In the playoffs, the James-led squad cruised to a 4-1 record while sporting those jerseys. They only lost once against the Miami Heat in Game 5.
After the Finals, tributes showered for Bryant as legions of fans celebrated outside the Staples Center.
Lakers president Jeanie Buss and big man Anthony Davis, who won his first NBA title in eight seasons, gave a huge shoutout to the Black Mamba during the awarding ceremony.
“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” said the 27-year-old Davis.
“It would have been great to do it last game in his jerseys, but it made us come down even more aggressive, even more powerful on both ends of the floor, to make sure we close it down tonight. I know he’s looking down on us proud of us.
“He was a big brother to us. We did this for him.”