"We were just laughing about how hard YOU was working GiGi and her teammates and I told YOU they need a day off," the Portland Trail Blazers forward wrote on Instagram
In a touching post on Instagram alongside a photo of the Portland Trail Blazers player embracing the late Los Angeles Lakers star, who died at 41 with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Anthony, 35, said the two athletes had just recently shared laughs with one another.
“Damn Bro!! 😥 I hate when I have so much to say, but I can’t put any of it into words,” he began in the post, joining several other athletes like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neil, Sydney LeRoux, Breanna Stewart, Novak Djokovic and more to share their memories of Bryant.
“YOU just called me and told me you were coming to the game Friday and that you were proud of me and ‘regardless of anything, stay true to myself and STAYME7O,'” Anthony wrote. “We were just laughing about how hard YOU was working GiGi and her teammates and I told YOU they need a day off 😂😢”
Anthony went on to say that the “pain” of losing Bryant “is almost unbearable,” and leaves him with many unanswerable questions.
“Why you bro? Why GiGi? Why leave Vanessa with this Sadness and Pain. WHY?” he continued. “This will never make sense to me.”
“I know I’m not suppose to question GODs Will. I know GOD doesn’t make mistakes. It just seems like It always rains the hardest on those who deserve the sun,” he said.
“There are moments in life when there’s simply NO words to describe the pain within. This is one of them. YOU will continue to be Loved. YOU will be missed. YOU will forever be remembered. YOUR legacy will live on FOREVER.”
“OUR FRIENDSHIP will never be forgotten,” Anthony added in conclusion. “I know YOU will be near, Even if I don’t see YOU. PEACE KING!!! ‘There Are No Goodbyes. Where Ever You’ll be, You’ll be in Our Hearts’ All Praise Due.”
On Sunday, Anthony told reporters after the Blazers defeated the Indiana Pacers 139-129 that it was the “hardest game” he ever had to play.
“Honestly knowing him, the way that I know him, he would’ve wanted me to play,” Anthony said of Bryant, whom he played alongside at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, taking home the gold for Team USA in both years.
Anthony added that their relationship “was deeper than basketball.”
“It was family, it was a friendship. Basketball was the last piece of connective tissue between us two.”
Of the moment he found out that Bryant had died, Anthony said “everything just kind of went numb, dark. Basketball for me was the furthest thing on my mind.”
Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa, 37, and their daughters/sisters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.