Day Before Kobe Bryant’s Death, LeBron Wore Sneakers With A Personal Message To ‘Black Mamba’

LeBron James wore sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant a day before his death that had a personal message to 'Black Mamba'

Getty Image / Harry How / Staff

A day before the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James wore special sneakers that had a personal message to “Black Mamba.”

On Sunday afternoon, the gut-wrenching news broke that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The helicopter accident killed five people, reportedly including his 13-year-old daughter Giana Maria Bryant, who recently became a viral sensation on the internet from a video of her father giving her basketball pointers.

Only a matter of hours before the death of Kobe Bryant in his personal helicopter, LeBron James sent Black Mamba a special message. On Saturday night’s Los Angeles Lakers game against the 76ers in Philadelphia, LeBron passed Bryant to become the third-leading scorer in NBA history.

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All LeBron needed to score 18 points to pass Kobe on the all-time NBA scoring list. Knowing he would most likely score 18 points, LeBron gave Kobe a special dedication on his sneakers. LeBron wrote “Mamba 4 Life” on his sneakers.

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With 7:23 remaining in the third quarter, LeBron scored the historic basket, passing Kobe in scoring. James passed Bryant’s career total of 33,643 points during the game, making him third all-time in scoring, only behind Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).

LeBron gave an interview to ESPN after the game, where he talked about the legacy of Kobe Bryant:

“It’s just too much. It’s too much. The story is too much,” James said of Bryant. “It doesn’t make sense. Just to make a long story short, now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from. The first time I ever met him, gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It’s surreal. It doesn’t make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life. And I guess when you live in the right way, when you just give it everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically.

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“And it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens. And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”

In what would be Kobe Bryant’s final tweet, the NBA legend complimented LeBron James: “Continuing to move the game forward
@KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644.”

RIP Kobe Bryant.

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