Vanessa Bryant, Mindy Kaling, Ciara and others celebrate Kobe Bryant on 43rd birthday

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Kobe Bryant is remembered on his 43rd birthday (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant is remembered on his 43rd birthday (Getty Images)

Family members, fans, and fellow celebrities are paying tribute to late basketball legend Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 43rd birthday.

On Monday 23 August, Kobe began trending on Twitter as thousands of people took the opportunity to pay their respects to the former Lakers star, who died alongside his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Among those sharing memories of the NBA player was his widow, Vanessa Bryant, who posted a throwback photo of herself and Kobe embracing on Instagram.

“Happy Birthday, Papi,” Vanessa wrote. “Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno. 43.”

One of the couple’s daughters, Natalia, 18, also remembered the late athlete on Instagram, where she shared a photo of Kobe holding her during a press conference when she was a child.

“Happy Birthday Daddy,” Natalia captioned the sentimental photo, in which Kobe can be seen smiling widely.

Notable figures such as Mindy Kaling and Dwyane Wade also remembered the Hall of Famer on his birthday.

“Happy birthday Kobe. I’m reminded of your impact daily. For instance, here is a picture of my daughter at ballet when she refused to take off your jersey and put on her leotard and tutu,” Kaling wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her three-year-old daughter Katherine sitting on the floor in Kobe’s jersey.

Wade remembered Kobe on Twitter, where he tweeted: “Mamba Forever. Happy birthday Big Bro” along with a purple heart emoji and a yellow heart emoji.

Ciara was among those celebrating the basketball star as well, with the singer posting a photo of Bryant celebrating a win for the Lakers along with the caption: “Happy Birthday @kobebryant Celebrating you every day! Grateful for the inspiration you continually give us, and how you love your queens! Forever in our hearts. #8 #24 forever.”

The tributes remembering and celebrating Kobe’s life and legacy come after Vanessa recently honoured her late husband with a post on Father’s Day.

At the time, she posted a photo of Kobe sitting with their four daughters along with the caption: “To the best girl dad - Happy Father’s Day, Papi. We love you forever and always, always and forever. Love you always, Nani, Gigi, B.B, Koko and VB.”

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