- The NBA icon Kobe Bryant died at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
- The night before, LeBron James passed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list while playing against the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Bryant’s last public statement was a tweet congratulating James on the achievement. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant tweeted. “Much respect my brother.”
- Bryant also included the hashtag #33644, referring to the number of points that James had scored to surpass him.
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Kobe Bryant’s last tweet before his death on Sunday was a powerful tribute to another NBA player.
The night before Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, LeBron James passed him on the NBA’s all-time scoring list while playing small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bryant congratulated James, writing: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.” He added a muscle emoji and the hashtag #33644, the number of points James had scored to become the third-highest scorer in NBA history.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother ???????? #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Previously, Bryant held that spot behind Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. With 7:22 left in the fourth quarter, James scored his 18th point of the night and 33,644th of his career, surpassing Bryant.
Numerous outlets, including TMZ and ABC 7, reported that Bryant was one of nine people who died in the crash of what was believed to be Bryant’s private helicopter. The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that there were no survivors.
Bryant, a legendary NBA player considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was often referred to by his self-given nickname “The Black Mamba” and was among the highest-paid NBA players. He retired in 2016 after spending the entirety of his 20-season career with the Lakers.
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