The whole of the NBA fraternity was sent into shock when the Black Mamba, his daughter Gianna and 6 others died of a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Kobe Bryant was only 41 years old, while Gianna Bryant was just about to turn 14.
Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa Bryant and their family, including the deceased Gianna Bryant, were ever-present at the Staples Center in the years post his retirement. Kobe Bryant has been an inspirational figure to nearly every player peaking in the NBA today.
His impact on the current style of wing play is undeniable, even though the NBA has moved away from the mid-range where he displayed most of his wizardry.
NBA Twitter reacts to Kobe Bryant's 42nd birth anniversary
On what would have been his 42nd birthday celebrations, NBA Twitter responded in befitting fashion while paying their homage to one of the most iconic figures in sports history.
Byron Scott, who was both a former coach and a former teammate with Kobe Bryant during his 20 years in the NBA, was among the first to chip in with a tribute.
His wife Vanessa Bryant made an Instagram post remembering her husband and daughter. Vanessa Bryant's misery at the loss of her two closest family members will bring tears to a lot of readers' eyes.
The great Bill Russell showed up with his own tribute to the 20-year Laker.
Caron Butler, who was Kobe Bryant's teammate for a year, posted a touching message as well.
Kobe got a shoutout from legends in other sports as well, including cancer survivor and Player of the Tournament at the 2011 ICC World Cup Yuvraj Singh.
Also paying homage to Kobe Bryant's legacy was multiple F1 champion and racing legend Lewis Hamilton.
Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum, a self-confessed idolizer of Kobe Bryant, posted a picture with the 5-time NBA champion.
The NBA's official Twitter handle posted an iconic poster image of Kobe Bryant from the years that he used to sport an afro and donned the jersey #8.
Before tip-off from the first game of the game-day being played between the Celtics and Sixers, there was a video tribute played for Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
One of Kobe Bryant's closest teammates and friends, Pau Gasol, who's always been considered family by him, was understably emotional on the occasion.
Published 23 Aug 2020, 23:34 IST