August 24, 2020
Today is "Kobe Bryant Day" in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and fans are honoring what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday, with loved ones, friends and athletes paying tribute to the late basketball legend.
Among the tributes, Los Angeles and Orange County have officially delegated August 24th as official "Kobe Bryant Day" in both Counties, in addition to renaming of a downtown stretch Figueroa between Olympic and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, just outside Staples Center in DTLA.
Councilman Curren Price and Herb Wesson plan to introduce a motion Tuesday calling for the stretch of to be named "Kobe Bryant Boulevard.''
A 2016 Los Angeles City Council resolution declared Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day in perpetuity, on the date of the jersey numbers he wore with the team. The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Aug. 11 to declare Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day, where he lived as a resident of Newport Beach with his family for so many years.
OC Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, who introduced the motion, called Bryant a "treasured member of our community,'' who "inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up."
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram Sunday to wish her late husband a happy birthday in a heartbreaking tribute.
“I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily. God I miss you both so much. Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi,” she wrote. “I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are” said Bryant. “I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us” Vanessa Bryant said. “I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache.”
Other tributes include the Los Angeles Dodgers honoring the player on Sunday's game by wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys in Nos. 8 and 24 along with a video tribute video narrated by retired broadcaster Vin Scully before their winning game over the Colorado Rockies. Kobe Bryant's No. 24 and Gianna's youth basketball No. 2 were also painted on the pitcher's mound.
Nike released a video narrated by Kendrick Lamar along with the “Black Mamba” Lakers City Edition jersey, which was co-designed by Bryant and several pairs of the Kobe 5 protro shoes to honor the NBA great on his birthday. The jerseys will feature the number eight on the front and 24 on the back, “an arrangement that symbolizes Kobe’s legendary career and the day dedicated to his impact on the game,” Nike announced.
Tonight the Lakers will take the court for Game 4 wearing the Black Mamba uniforms against the Portland Trail Blazers as another way to recognize Bryant.
LeBron James posted a touching tribute online showing him singing to Kobe on his then-30th birthday, with Kobe holding Gianna. *Warning this video may make you want to cry.
Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Lakers. He helped Los Angeles win five NBA championships and was the NBA Finals MVP for the Lakers two most recent championships.
Over 300 murals popped up around the globe in honor of Kobe and Gigi while fans came together for a massive makeshift memorial near Staples Center days following the deadly helicopter crash that took the lives of 9 people on Jan 26th in Calabasas.
Here are few photos from our series "Missing Kobe Bryant - Day and Night" by The Big Magazine photographer, William Meserve. William was assigned to photograph the memorial for the magazine about week before the Staples center tore it down permanently.
All "Kobe Bryant - Missing You Day and Night" photos by William Meserve for The Big Magazine are subject to copyright.