LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & More Stars Pay Tribute to Kobe Bryant on His 42nd Birthday

Sunday marks what would've been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday

01 of 16

Mamba Forever

A number of athletes, including Kobe's former teammate Derek Fisher and WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, joined forces for an emotional video, in which they reflected on Kobe's legacy as a player, mentor and father.

02 of 16

Dwyane Wade

In an emotional message, the retired player opened up about the massive impact Kobe had on the game.

"We all have our Kobe moments and we all have our Kobe stories. No mistake about it we were trying to make him proud," he said in the Players' Tribune video.

"We knew coming into the game that he was the one. I grew up with [Michael] Jordan, Jordan is my favorite player of all time, but when I got in the game, Kobe was that bar for all of us," he added. "We knew he was the one and we were trying to make him proud of us and we never probably spoke it, said to the media or said it to him, but deep inside, most guys were."

03 of 16

LeBron James

Reflecting on a birthday the pair shared together in the past, LeBron James shared a video from Kobe's 30th celebration β€” when both players were competing for Olympic gold with Team USA.

"Today is Kobe Bryant's 30th birthday, and we're gonna sing happy birthday," James says in the throwback clip, as he got the entire room to join in with the celebratory song.

"Happy Bday my brother!! Miss you man!!" James wrote alongside the video.

04 of 16

Alex Rodriguez

Kobe Bryant
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. Alex Rodriguez/Instagram

"Legends are missed, but never forgotten," wrote Alex Rodriguez alongside a compilation of photos and videos of his longtime friend.

"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," he added. "On what would be his 42nd birthday, I ask that everyone please say a prayer for Vanessa and his family. Love you, Kobe. 💜💛"

05 of 16

Russell Wilson

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant. Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty

"Happy Birthday Kobe. We miss you. Thankful for being not only a Legend on the court, but most importantly with your girls," the Seattle Seahawks quarterback wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the late NBA star on the court.

"Thankful for you #MambaForever," he added.

06 of 16

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake and Kobe Bryant
Justin Timberlake and Kobe Bryant. Kevin Winter/Getty

"Miss you brother," wrote Justin Timberlake. "Happy birthday."

The musician also shared a video of Kobe sinking an epic shot during a playoff game, which he captioned, "HBD KING πŸ™πŸΌ MAMBA FOREVER."

07 of 16

Sabrina Ionescu

WNBA player Ionescu paid tribute to her mentor by sharing a tribute video highlighting all of the ways the player helped inspire others to "be better."

"Writing this with tears in my eyes, I miss you more and more everyday. Thank you for teaching me to be better. Every. Single. Day. Happy Birthday Boss!!" she added in a separate post. "Love you and Gigi forever."

08 of 16

Kenan Thompson

The Saturday Night Live star shared a warm message to Kobe's family.

"Our hearts are with the Bryants!!!" he wrote on social media. "Happy birthday Mamba!!!"

09 of 16

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka and Kobe Bryan
John Phillips/Getty Images; Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

"Happy birthday Mamba," wrote the tennis star, who shared that her thoughts have been with Kobe as she prepares to compete in the U.S. Open.

"At the US Open right now and I practiced on Armstrong so I had a lot of memories of you in my box," she wrote, sharing photographs and videos of Bryant watching her play last year. "That was fun, wish we could've done it again. Miss you."

10 of 16


Kobe Bryant
Tyrese and Kobe Bryant. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

"Happy birthday KING KOBE!!!!!!!! Still can't believe you're gone," Tyrese wrote alongside a photo of the pair at a 1999 bowling event.

"Still inspired by you and still praying for your wife and children," he added.

11 of 16

Viola Davis

The actress shared a photo of Bryant from the night he won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2018.

"Remembering you and honoring you on this day. We will love you forever Kobe. You will always be alive to us. Sending blessings and prayers to Vanessa and the girls today," Davis wrote.

12 of 16

Tristan Thompson

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

For his own tribute, the Cleveland Cavaliers player shared a photo of Kobe from 2001, when the Lakers won the NBA Championships against the Philadelphia 76ers.

13 of 16

Lionel Richie

Kobe Bryant
Allen Berezovsky/Getty

"The brightest lights shine forever πŸ’™," wrote Richie, who shared a photo of Kobe kissing his late daughter Gianna on the forehead at a game.

14 of 16

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Kobe's former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol struck an emotional cord as he reflected on how much he missed his friend.

"With tears in my eyes today... I just wish so badly that you were here celebrating your bday with your girls and family," he wrote. "I miss you and Gigi so much brother. I will always be thankful for how much you have impacted my life in so many different ways."

15 of 16

Rob Kardashian

kobe bryant
Kobe Bryant. Gary A. Vasquez/Getty Images

"Happy Birthday Kobe!! Miss You! πŸ’™πŸ’™" wrote Rob Kardashian.

16 of 16

Justin Bieber

The singer shared throwback photos from Bryant's career and saluted the Lakers icon.

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