DENVER - NOVEMBER 11: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets look on during a break in the action at the Pepsi Center on November 11, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 118-112.
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Former New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony posted a heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant on Instagram Tuesday night.

Carmelo Anthony paid tribute to his long-term friend, Kobe Bryant, in an Instagram post Tuesday night. He published a photo of he and Bryant hugging after a Los Angeles Lakers-Denver Nuggets game from Anthony’s days in Denver.

”Damn Bro!! I hate when I have so much to say, but I can’t put any of it into words,” was how Anthony began his post.

“YOU just called me and told me you were coming to the game Friday and that you were proud of me…”, Anthony wrote.

“Why you bro? Why GiGi? Why leave Vanessa with this Sadness and Pain. There are moments in life when there’s simply NO words to describe the pain within. This is one of them.”

Anthony concluded the post with, “‘There Are no Goodbyes. Where Ever You’ll be, You’ll be in Our Hearts’ All Praise Due #STAYME7O”.

Anthony and Bryant were rivals when Anthony was in Denver, but were also teammates on Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The Portland Trail Blazers played the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, the day Bryant and eight others passed away in a tragic helicopter crash.

In a postgame interview, as he fought back tears, Anthony told reporters, “That was probably the hardest game I’ve ever had to play,” and that he and Bryant’s “friendship, relationship was deeper than basketball.” He said that he was not thinking about basketball that day, but played due to the idea that Bryant would have wanted him to lace them up.

Bryant’s death shocked the world and affected the entire NBA, as most players always looked up to him and sought to emulate everything about his game. His death definitely impacted some more than others, and Anthony is one of them.

He had a special bond with Bryant and they both had mutual respect for one another, especially since they played in the league together for so long.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.