Vanessa Bryant shared an emotional birthday tribute to Kobe Bryant on Monday, August 23, on what would have been his 43rd birthday.
The tribute posted to Instagram shows a photo of Vanessa and Kobe embracing and kissing with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy after one of his five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. Vanessa captioned the photo:
“Happy birthday, Papi. Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno,” which translates to “I love you forever. Eternal love.”
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant were married nearly 20 years before his tragic death at age 41 on January 26, 2020. While heading to a junior basketball game, the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, along with seven other passengers, perished in a helicopter crash over Calabasas, California. Prior to his passing, Kobe spoke often about his marriage to Vanessa and especially, his duties as a father.
At age 20, Kobe was already playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, his lifetime team, when he met Vanessa who was 18 years old.
Photo: Getty Images