Vanessa Bryant leads tributes to Kobe on his birthday

August 24, 2020 - 9:50 AM
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A mural honoring the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter is pictured before the public memorial for them and seven others killed in a helicopter crash, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2020. (Reuters/Kyle Grillot)

Vanessa Bryant joined numerous stars over social media on Sunday in honoring her late husband on what would have been his 42nd birthday.

Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. The accident also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

Kobe was a five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Vanessa Bryant’s lengthy message over social media began with the following: “To my baby. Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU!”

New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu shared a video of Bryant on her Instagram page while the recently retired Vince Carter took to Twitter to honor the 18-time NBA All-Star.

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“Happy 42nd Birthday my guy. You are missed!!!” wrote Carter, who added the hashtags #Mambaforever and #KobeBeanBryant.

Ionescu and Carter weren’t alone in showing their love for Bryant over social media.

Legendary tennis star Billie Jean King wrote the following on Twitter: “On this difficult day for his family, we send them love and prayers, and comfort from happy memories of their time together.”

The NBA and WNBA posted pictures honoring Bryant as well, while the Lakers featured a graphic that read “Happy Birthday” as well as a video with the caption that said, “Husband, Laker, Oscar Winner, Girl Dad, Author, Black Mamba, Champion, Mentor, Hall of Famer. Kobe Bryant”.

Bryant will be enshrined posthumously into the Basketball Hall of Fame next year. β€” Field Level Media via Reuters