Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
“Hope I’m made you proud my brother!! Love and miss you Champ!!” James wrote in the caption of a picture featuring him with a No. 24 Bryant jersey.
After Bryant’s death in January, James dedicated the season to the Lakers legend and promised to “continue [Bryant’s] legacy.”
The Lakers wore a patch with Bryant’s initials on their jerseys after his death and found several other ways to honor him and his family, including the introduction of their Black Mamba jerseys.
The team chose to wear the Black Mamba uniforms in Games 2 and 7 of every playoff series in honor of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who also died in the helicopter crash. The Lakers also wore them in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which closed out the series.
Gianna, who was a rising star on the basketball floor in her own right, wore No. 2.
“I mean, every time you put on purple and gold, you think about his legacy,” James told reporters of Bryant in September. “You think about him and about what he meant to this franchise for 20-plus years, and what he stood for both on the floor and off the floor. What he demanded out of his teammates and what he demanded out of himself. We have some similarities in that sense.”