Vanessa Bryant Sends Message to Late Husband Kobe on His 43rd Birthday

Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash with his daughter and seven other people, would have been 43 years old on Monday. And to celebrate his birthday, Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, sent an emotional message to the Los Angels Lakers legend. Vanessa went to Instagram to post a photo of her kissing Kobe after leading the Lakers to an NBA Championship. And in the caption, Vanessa wrote: “Happy birthday, Papi. Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno.”

Kobe was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in May, and Vanessa gave an emotional speech. “I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award,” Vanessa said in the speech, per the Los Angeles Times. “He and Gigi deserve to be here to witness this. Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the basketball Hall of Fame. I know he was really looking forward to being here. He asked the Hall of Fame to specifically add a sixth ticket for Capri. He was so happy.


“He didn’t really talk about upcoming awards, but he did mention this one a week before he and Gigi passed. My husband and I were sitting at our kitchen island, and he and I had a conversation about my mother- and father-in-law attending tonight’s enshrinement. I invited my mother- and father-in-law in this enshrinement to thank them for bringing one of the most amazing human beings into this world.

Back in March, Vanessa spoke to PEOPLE about Kobe’s death. T”his pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward. Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again,” Vanessa said. “But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”

Kobe is one of the most beloved players in NBA history. He spent his entire career with the Lakers (1996-2016) and helped the team win five championships. Bryant was also named to the All-Star team 18 times, the All-NBA team 15 times and the All-Defensive Team 12 times. He currently ranks fourth all-time in the regular season and postseason scoring and is the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history.

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