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Kobe Bryant's Last Instagram Post Emblematic to the Legend and Person He Was

Gettyimages | John McCoy
By Zachary Holt

The death of one of the greatest NBA stars the world has ever seen is sending shockwaves throughout. Kobe Bryant wasn't just one of the best basketball players to have ever lived. He was so much more than that. One of culture and class, representing the NBA in the best way an ambassador could.

His philanthropy and willingness to give back to help others defined the man, not simply his athletic accolades. Just hours before his untimely and heartbreaking death, Bryant posted his last contribution to Instagram, something that was wholeheartedly emblematic of the type of human being he was.

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Kobe Provided Support and Encouragement to Lebron

Gettyimages | Allen Berezovsky

Leading up to this season, it was anticipated that Lebron James would pass Bryant on the list of all-time scorers in NBA history. This much was a given, barring any catastrophic injuries that James might sustain during regular season play. Fortunately for James, he had stayed healthy.

As he approached the number three spot that Bryant occupied, the former Lakers all-star was there to support James through and through. There wasn't any jealousy or hard feelings, only love and encouragement to the person who superseded him as the next greatest player of a generation. What seemed like a tense debate about who was the best NBA player of all time suddenly turned into something so much bigger with smiles and camaraderie abounding between the two.

Bryant Takes to Social Media to Commend James on Passing Him

Gettyimages | Jeff Gross

Bryant's last post came after James finally took over the spot of third all-time in scoring. There was nothing but congratulatory praise, as he led James' eyes to the next person on the record list, number two. In the Instagram post, he shared a picture of himself and Lebron laughing with each other courtside while he playfully slapped his chest. It was captioned with, "On to #2 @kingjames!"

Even on his Twitter account, Bryant offered his praises to James stating, "Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644." It was a true mark of respect and sportsmanship between two of the greatest players the world has ever known.

Lebron Pays Tribute to Kobe by with Shoes and Jersey Commemoration

Gettyimages | Jason Miller

Incidentally enough, James chose to honor Bryant during the game by wearing shoes and a jersey that paid tribute to Kobe Bryant. His shoes featured several references to the NBA all-star including 'KB' on them, while his Jersey referenced Kobe's number, 24, and the nickname he acquired over the years, 'Mamba'.

After the game, James spoke to the media about the legacy of Kober Bryant and his dominance as a basketball player. "He had zero flaws offensively," he began. "Zero. He could shoot the three. He could go around you. He could shoot the midrange. He could post. He could make free throws. That’s something I admired as well. Just being at a point where the defense would always be at bay, where they couldn’t guard you, where you just felt you were immortal offensively because of your skillset and work ethic."

Bryant So Much More Than An All-Star NBA Basketball Player

Gettyimages | Jason Miller

In the end, James was just thankful to even be mentioned within the same conversation as the great Kobe Byrant. "I’m just happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time great basketball players."

Being mentioned in the same conversation with Bryant is a compliment that extends beyond basketball and sports, as a whole. It's a nod to the type of person that he was, one of character, integrity, and class. Bryant will be sorely missed, not only for his athletic prowess, though, but for his incessant drive to continue to work with philanthropies and the less fortunate, as well as, his unwavering kind regard for others.

Bryant died tragically in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California, along with his daughter, Gianna, while traveling to a basketball game. He is survived by his wife and remaining three children.

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