It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since the world lost Kobe Bryant, who died at age 41 alongside his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash. The NBA legend’s legacy has endured though, as many have continued to show reverence towards him since the tragic incident. The late star’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has consistently honored both her husband and their daughter, Gianna. At present, Vanessa is in the middle of a trial centered around circulated crash site photos. Amid the legal drama though, Mrs. Bryant took some time to commemorate her hubby on what would’ve been his 44th birthday.
Kobe Bryant’s widow shared the birthday post to her Instagram account, and the photo she included shows Vanessa embracing Kobe after his winning performance in the 2009 NBA Finals. She also included a short, but sweet caption:
I mean, I’m not tearing up or anything. I simply have some dust in my eye. But in all seriousness, this is a lovely post that both honors the Los Angeles Lakers icon while also signifying the love he and his wife had for each other. Vanessa Bryant shared a tender message on her husband’s birthday last year as well. Like this latest one, the post included a throwback image and a sentimental caption.
Kobe Bryant’s sudden passing was followed by a wide range of tributes from fans and celebrities. In the immediate aftermath, the ESPN docuseries The Last Dance even honored Bryant during one of its 10 episodes. On the one-year anniversary of his death, Jimmy Fallon and more shared touching tributes for the hall of famer. And as you’d expect, Bryant-related memorabilia has also become even more popular as of late.
Following the Black Mamba’s death, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal paid emotional tribute to him on Inside the NBA and also spoke at his public memorial service. O’Neal would later mark the one-year anniversary of his death by checking in on the Bryant family. Recently O’Neal also weighed in on Vanessa Bryant’s court case and lauded her for “holding people responsible.”
In the case, Vanessa Bryant is reportedly seeking an unspecified amount of money (said to be millions of dollars) in restitution from Los Angeles County over crash site photos that were taken and shared by first responders. Bryant claims to have experienced “emotional distress” over the spread of the photos and the taunting social media messages she received early on. With that, she’s suing on the grounds of negligence and invasion of privacy.
Much of the public is sure to keep its eyes on the emotionally heavy court case as it continues. All the while, massive fans will likely follow Vanessa Bryant’s lead and share their own tributes to Kobe.
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.