Sports World Celebrates the Life of Kobe Bryant on His 42nd Birthday, as Does His Wife and Oldest Daughter

Sports World Celebrates the Life of Kobe Bryant on His 42nd Birthday, as Does His Wife and Oldest Daughter

Sports World Celebrates the Life of Kobe Bryant on His 42nd Birthday, as Does His Wife and Oldest Daughter

On August 23, 2020, the Bryant family and the world of sports celebrated legendary basketball player Kobe Bryants first birthday since his unexpected and tragic passing. The former Laker would have been 42 years old.

From His Former Teammates, like Pau Gasol:

RELATED: Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant’s Youngest Daughter Koko Takes Her First Steps Ahead of Her First Birthday

“Happy birthday, brother,” Gasol wrote on Instagram. “Kobe taught us to be better. A better scorer, a better mentor, better father, better champion. Today, on his birthday, we continue his endless pursuit of better.”

Shaquille O’Neal

“Happy birthday Kobe. They couldn’t stop the REIGN,” Kobe’s longtime counterpart wrote.

And LeBron James

Along with the hashtags, “Long live Mamaba” and “Gone but never ever forgotten,” James also wished Bryant a happy birthday and let the world know he still misses him.

To other sports stars, like Russell Wilson:

“Happy Birthday Kobe. We miss you. Thankful for being not only a Legend on the court, but most importantly with your girls. Thankful for you,” the quarterback wrote.

Hundreds of people took to social media in some form or another to wish Bryant a happy birthday but to also let his wife and three daughters know that they are in their thoughts and prayers.

It has been eight months since Bryant, his then 13-year-old daughter Gigi Bryant, and seven others died unexpectedly when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in the hills of Calabasas, California. Also among those who took to social media to remember the NBA superstar was his wife Vanessa Bryant and oldest daughter Natalia Bryant.

Along with a photo of her and her daddy from years past, Natalia wrote:

“Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss your smile, laugh, and big bear hugs. Happy Birthday to the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for. I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always. Always, Slim.”

While Vanessa wrote:

“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! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh. I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way. Thank you for growing up with me and teaching me how to be strong. How to try to see the best in people but cutout the bs. Your thoughtful gestures and the amazing way you made us all feel is extremely missed. I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily.”

Vanessa continued, admitting how much she missed Kobe and Gigi, that their lives feel “so empty” without them here. “I’ve been completely broken inside,” she writes honestly.

“As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters’ days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are. They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face every day. I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me. There’s so much I wish I could tell you and show you and Gigi. So many things you would both be happy to see and be a part of. So many milestones for our girls. So many things you would be proud of. I’m so thankful I have pieces of heaven here on earth to wake up for- thanks to YOU. Thank you for loving me enough to last several lifetimes. In every lifetime I would choose YOU. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri, and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always.

Wow, happy birthday, Kobe. It’s clear how much the world misses you.

Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people's lives.

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