‘Here’s to your next-generation fan’: LA Lakers welcome the babies born at UCLA hospital on what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday with gifts inspired by the NBA legend
- Babies born at UCLA on August 23 were given gift packages from the LA Lakers
- The gifts were to commemorate what would have been Kobe Bryant’s birthday
- The newborns received white bats with his iconic No. 8 on and special notes
- The NBA legend tragically died in 2020 and would have turned 44 on Tuesday
The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 44th birthday by giving every baby born at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital on the same day as Mamba, gifts inspired by the NBA great.
Several Los Angeles babies were christened ‘Day One’ Lakers fans on August 23 as they were donned in the Purple and Gold in commemoration of Bryant.
The 23rd, his birthday, and August 24 – named Mamba Day and coined for the two numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year NBA career – hold special significance for the franchise and fans since his death in January 2020.
The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant (right) on what would have been his 44th birthday by giving every baby born at UCLA on the same day gear inspired by the NBA great
On social media the Lakers posted pictures of the babies swaddled in blankets with the franchise’s logo printed on and white hats with Kobe’s iconic No. 8 on the front.
The newborns were also given notes on Lakers stationary that read: ‘WELCOME TO THE WORLD!
‘One of your family’s most special days has landed on one of our organization’s most celebrated days.
‘On this year’s Kobe day, here’s to your next-generation Lakers fan. They’ve already got a little of the Mamba Mentality in them.’
The tribute included a note for each newborn claiming they already had ‘Mamba Mentality’
It is the second consecutive year the team has donated a Kobe-inspired package to newborns who arrived into the world on Mamba’s birthday.
Bryant tragically died on January 26, 2020 when a helicopter he was riding along with eight others – including his daughter Gianna – crashed in Calabasas, California.
Bryant and the other passengers were headed to Gianna’s basketball game at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. Everyone on board died.
Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant wished her late husband a happy birthday on Instagram Tuesday.
‘Happy birthday, baby! I love you and miss you so much! #44,’ she wrote, sharing a throwback picture of herself cuddling up to her husband.
‘I love you and miss you so much!’: Vanessa Bryant wished her late husband Kobe a happy birthday Tuesday, marking the day the late basketball star would have turned 44
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving took to Twitter to remember the late Kobe Bryant Tuesday joining a chorus of fans who also paid tribute.
Irving, considered one of the best scorers in the league, looked up to Bryant as a mentor, and left a heartwarming message for his ‘big brother’ on the third birthday since his death.
‘Love you Big brother @kobebryant,’ Irving wrote.
‘Happy Solar Return, and [cheers] to you. You and all the angels celebrate up in Paradise!
‘The Black Mamba lives on …..’
Kyrie Irving paid tribute to his mentor Bryant on social media on Tuesday afternoon
Fans of the five-time NBA champ also flooded social media with kind words, with a tribute from the official NBA Facebook page eliciting fond memories of the all-time great.
‘Miss him so much! A legend taken from this world way too soon,’ one fan said.
Another added: ‘Husband fought cancer for five years before losing his battle. Watching the Lakers and [especially] Kobe was good therapy for him and a great time for us to spend together. Kobe’s fighting spirit remains an inspiration to us all.’