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Stuart Scott was one of the most loved sportscasters in the USReuters

ESPN host and SportsCenter legend Stuart Scott lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, and LeBron James and Barack Obama led the tributes for the much-loved TV personality.

Scott, who made his name as the always-entertaining anchor of the ESPN sports bulletin SportsCenter, died at the age of 49, and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James paid a fitting tribute.

"Can't believe you're gone from us," James wrote on his Instagram account along with a photo of him and Scott sharing a laugh. "I am deeply saddened because not only will [he] not be replaced as a anchor or reporter but more than that as a genuine cool person.

"What u did for our culture, bringing that Swag to reporting can only be copied (which I hear it today on TV watching sports).

"I would say not because they stealing your swag, it's all out of RESPECT! It was always a breath of fresh fun air when u would show up and we'd chat up.

"Thank you so much for being u and giving us inner city kids someone we could relate to that wasn't a player but was close enough to them."

US President Barack Obama also paid a moving tribute to Scott. "I will miss Stuart Scott," he said. "Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day's best plays.

"For much of those twenty years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family -- but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on SportsCenter were there.

"Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us -- with courage and love. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues."

Stuart Scott, while accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYS last July following another cancer surgery, showed just why he was regarded as one of the best sportscasters in the country.

"When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer," he said. "You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."

Scott, who made everyone chuckle with his inimitable wit and ability to add his own style to anything he did, leaves behind two daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15. Scott also given fitting tributes by two of the most recognised athletes in the US and the world – Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.

"#StuartScottSayings changed the game #BOOYAH #donthatetheplayerhatethegame R.I.P to a sportscasting Legend," wrote Bryant on Twitter.

"Stuart wasn't covering heroes & champions, it was the other way around. Thinking of my friend & his daughters," added Woods.

"Stuart Scott was a great man and always so kind. An inspiration to so many, taken from us far too soon. Rest in Peace Stuart," JJ Watt wrote on his Twitter account.

Former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick said Scott showed what sports anchoring was all about. "He didn't just push the envelope," he said. "He bulldozed the envelope."

And current SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris grew up wanting to be Stuart Scott. "Think about that phrase, 'As cool as the other side of the pillow.' It's a hot, stifling night. You're having trouble sleeping. But then you think to turn the pillow over, and, wow, it's cool, and it feels so good," Harris told ESPN.

"Well, that's who Stuart is. He is 'the other side of pillow,' the man who made sportscasting cool. God bless whoever it was who thought to rearrange the bedding at ESPN."