Vanessa Bryant Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant on His Birthday
Natalia, one of his daughters, also celebrated the late basketball player's birthday on social media.
On Sunday — what would have been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday — Vanessa Bryant posted an emotional tribute to her late husband, who died on January 26 in a helicopter crash along with their daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers. "To my baby~ Happy birthday," she wrote. "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," she continued. "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."
Her message, shared to her Instagram account (which is now private), continued: "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."
One of their daughters, Natalia, also celebrated her father's birthday on Instagram. "Happy Birthday Dad," she wrote, sharing a photo of her with Kobe when she was younger. "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."
The day before Bryant's birthday, it was announced that the website for the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which aims to provide underserved communities with sports programs, would be relaunched. The foundation was previously known as the Mamba Sports Foundation, but on February 13, "Mambacita" was added as a tribute to Gianna.
On Sunday, Nike also released a new ad featuring Kobe with narration by Kendrick Lamar, titled "Better."