Kobe Bryant would have turned 42 today, and yes, it’s incredibly difficult to write that out. Just as it seemed that the intense competitor was becoming a well-rounded businessman and devoted family man, his life, and that of his daughter Gigi and others involved in the accident, was tragically cut short this past January.
Kobe Bean Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia, Pa. to parents Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Pamela Bryant. Bryant’s father, a former NBA player, retired from the league and headed to Italy to continue his professional career. Bryant spent his formative years in Italy, becoming fluent in the language, and was enamored by sports most especially soccer and basketball.
At 13, the family returned to Philadelphia where a young Bryant become a high school phenom at Lower Merion High School in the suburbs of the big city. Bryant’s on-court exploits saw him named as the state’s top prospect and the media hype that ensued grew larger than expected.
Bryant went on to be named the Naismith High School Play of the Year, along with other notable awards that included Gatorade Men’s National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American, a first-team Parade All-American and a USA Today All-USA First Team player. Several of the nation’s top colleges sought to recruit Bryant but he had other plans for his basketball destiny.
Following the footsteps of Kevin Garnett, Bryant made the leap from high school to the pros and was selected with the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets before getting traded to his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers. Having played his entire career with the Lakers, Bryant was a five-time champion, an 18-time NBA All-Star selection, and league MVP among other honors.
Across Twitter, fans and former players alike are honoring the late Kobe Bryant.
Black Mamba Forever. May he and all lost rest powerfully in peace.
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Twitter Celebrates Kobe Bryant On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday was originally published on hiphopwired.com
Happy Birthday, on 8-23, to 8 & 24.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 23, 2020
Continue to honor you today, while realizing we were robbed of your future off the court greatness.
You were just getting started. pic.twitter.com/mMV9PyEKb9
Kobe Bryant would've turned 42 years old today. He, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Bryant's devoted fans prepare to honor him tomorrow, a time in California known as Kobe Bryant Day. pic.twitter.com/eJvg1oz4tM— Donovan Long (@DonovanLongTV) August 23, 2020
Thank you for inspiring a generation of Laker fans to try our best at whatever it is we set out to do, and for showing us the value of sharing what's learned along the way with the next generation, so that they may reach even greater heights. Mamba forever. pic.twitter.com/urZzdwyzMH— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) August 23, 2020
Legends are missed, but never forgotten.— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) August 23, 2020
I had the pleasure of calling Kobe Bryant my friend for 20 years. Nobody, and I mean nobody, worked harder and more passionately to be great, day in and day out. As a player, as a coach, as a mentor, as a husband and as a father. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/F1IxskIDyP
Happy birthday Kobe your presence is missed on earth! pic.twitter.com/tbeK9B90fm— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) August 23, 2020
I remember meeting Kobe he told me he grew up listening to my music R.I.P. The Goat 🙏🏿— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) August 23, 2020
Happy birthday @kobebryant We miss you my brother!!! 👑🙏🏾🙌🏾🖤🕊— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 23, 2020
Kobe Bryant would have turned 42 years old today.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 23, 2020
On this difficult day for his family, we send them love and prayers, and comfort from happy memories of their time together. pic.twitter.com/KSQXVKPrKH
Kobe Bryant's 10 rules. Great rules that apply to all aspects of life. pic.twitter.com/9v24TRBtgu— Eric Musselman (@EricPMusselman) August 23, 2020
When Kobe Bryant won the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/ajGqasrPZv— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) August 23, 2020
Remembering Kobe Bryant on what would've been his 42nd birthday. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/Cerklcxkbx— NFL (@NFL) August 23, 2020
Remembering Kobe 💜💛— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) August 23, 2020
Watch Mason's introduction of Kobe Bryant at his final game at The Palace. pic.twitter.com/9VXUTmcNYk