Vanessa Bryant is paying homage to her eternal love on what would have been his 43rd birthday. On Monday (Aug. 23), she shared a throwback photo of her and the late Kobe Bryant following one of his five NBA championship games. “Happy birthday, Papi,” she penned the caption. “Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno.”
Vanessa and Kobe were married for a little over two decades when he and their teen daughter Gianna Bryant were killed in a fatal crash that also claimed seven other lives. In the wake of their deaths, she’s honored them with heartfelt tributes and speeches. Back in May, for example, she shared a few touching words about the basketball legend as she accepted his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame.
“There will never be anyone like Kobe. Kobe was one of a kind. He was special, he was humble off the court but bigger than life,” she said. “To all of our close friends and family that have been present for my girls and I, thank you. That list is long and it takes a village but know that your kindness and love does not go unappreciated. I know that Kobe is thankful that you’re all coming through for his girls.”
Vanessa has also worked to keep Kobe and Gianna’s names alive with the continuation of businesses they’d started before they passed. She took up the leadership of Kobe’s multimedia company Granity Studios, relaunched the charitable non-profit Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and released a Mambacita clothing line in honor of her late daughter.
Her message is one of many showing Kobe some love on his heavenly birthday. O’Shea Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, Naomi Osaka and his oldest daughter Natalia Bryant also shared posts for the NBA star’s special day.
“Happy Birthday Daddy,” wrote Natalia in her birthday tribute. See that post and the one from Vanessa below.