Kobe Bryant fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to the basketball star on what would have been his 43rd birthday.
The Los Angeles Lakers player died on January 26, 2020 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed into a hillside in California.
Bryant was one of nine people who lost their lives in the crash, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. He was 41 years old at the time of his death, and a year and a half later fans are now sharing their thoughts about the athlete in recognition of his birthday today, August 23.
O’Shea Jackson Jr., the son of rapper Ice Cube, shared a picture of Bryant surrounded by confetti and described him as one of his heroes.
He wrote: ‘Happy birthday to one of my heroes. The man the myth the legend. The always imitated. Never duplicated. Under appreciated and surprisingly STILL underrated. Smh. Lol. Our fallen King Laker. We love you. We miss you. But we still feel you here with us. Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant’.
Lakers fan page Global Laker Fans also paid tribute to the star, writing: ‘Happy 43rd Birthday Kobe, not a day goes by when we don’t think of you. The legacy you left has inspired and will continue to inspire millions. We miss you every single day; we will think of you more so today as you celebrate in paradise.’
In the days before what would have been Bryant’s birthday, fellow Lakers player Carmelo Anthony recalled an encounter he had with Bryant during the 2009 Western Conference Finals, when Anthony was playing with the Denver Nuggets and his team went head-to-head with the Lakers.
Speaking on the podcast All The Smoke, per Fox News, he said:
’09 came, and it was like, I remember we hugged before the game, and he was like, ‘It’s war.’ I said, ‘It’s war. Let’s get it. It ain’t gonna be nothing easy’.
And I just remember him telling me, ‘I’ll guard you in the fourth. They ain’t gonna make no calls on me. They ain’t gonna call no s—t on me in the fourth.’ And I used to try to beat him up though. I was bigger than him, so I used to try to beat him up, be physical with him. He come back, elbow me. I come back, elbow him. He laughing, talking, ‘That’s all you got?’
During his career, Bryant helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships.
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