The world’s heart simultaneously broke when Vanessa Bryant faced millions of fans for late husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant’s eulogy. On January 26, 2020, the NBA legend, his daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash over Calabasas in California. Today would have been the athlete’s 42nd birthday and just as Vanessa poured her heart out live, in front of the globe, she has posted to Instagram to pay tribute to her longtime partner.
“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,” she wrote.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Daughter Natalia Bryant also shared a heartfelt message to Instagram for her father, saying,”Happy Bithday 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.”
Bryant was drafted to the NBA straight from high school in 1996 where he was named an All-Star in 18 out of 20 seasons for the Lakers and was best known for leading the team to five national championships. During the 2007 season, he was named as the NBA MVP and the final’s MVP in 2009 and 2010. His resumé also includes an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in the association’s history while he attended the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
He was inspiring to all and in remembrance of the NBA star, Nike has shared a video urging us all to be better just as he did.