On what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday, loved ones, friends and athletes are paying to tribute to the late basketball legend Sunday.
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram Sunday to wish her late husband a happy birthday in a heartbreaking tribute.
“I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily. God I miss you both so much. Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi,” she wrote. “I’ve been completely broken inside. 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.”
“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” Vanessa Bryant said. “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.”
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on their way to Mamba Sports Academy on Jan. 26—nearly seven months ago.
After the tragic crash that shook Los Angeles, murals of the father and daughter popped up around the globe and fans came together for a massive makeshift memorial near Staples Center.
On Sunday, the L.A. Dodgers are set to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant during pregame ceremonies before the series finale against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium, according to Dodger Blue.
The day after his birthday, Aug. 24, is “Kobe Bryant Day,” as designated by the L.A. City Council back in 2016. Orange County supervisors also declared Monday “Kobe Bryant Day” earlier this month.
Nike on Sunday released a video narrated by Kendrick Lamar to honor the NBA great on his birthday.
And during “Mamba Week,” Nike is re-releasing the “Black Mamba” Lakers City Edition jersey, which was co-designed by Bryant.
The jerseys will feature the number eight on the front and 24 on the back, “an arrangement that symbolizes Kobe’s legendary career and the day dedicated to his impact on the game,” Nike announced. The jerseys will be available Monday.
The Lakers will wear their Black Mamba uniforms to honor Bryant at Game 4 of their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Nike is also releasing several pairs of the Kobe 5 protro shoes Sunday.