Fans celebrate Kobe Bryant's 44th birthday with 'Mamba Forever' tributes

Joshua Rogers August 23, 2022
Fans celebrate Kobe Bryant's 44th birthday with 'Mamba Forever' tributes
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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‘Mamba Forever’ is currently trending on social media as fans celebrate the Laker great on what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday.

On January 26, 2020, the basketball world and beyond was devastated to learn that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.

Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six family friends, and the pilot, were all killed in the accident as they made their way to a basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Bryant’s legacy was already cemented before his tragic passing. The Laker legend is one of the greatest basketball players ever, winning five NBA championships, as well as two gold medals with the United States Olympics team.

He was also an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.

For many basketball fans though he was more than that, an icon both on and off the court.

Tuesday 23 August 2022 would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday. To celebrate Kobe’s bday, fans used the ‘Mamba Forever’ hashtag to honor his memory.

Kobe’s “Black Mamba” nickname became synonymous with him during his career, and his ‘Mamba Mentality’ mantra embodied his dedication, commitment, and will to win:

Kobe’s last game was a fitting ending to a storied career

In true Kobe fashion, his last ever NBA game was one for the history books. In his final game on April 13, 2016, Bryant scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz, in what was a fitting end to a historic career.

He hit the winning shot with 31.6 seconds left and scored 15 of the Lakers’ final 17 points. He also outscored the opponent by himself (23-21) in the fourth quarter.

“I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by,” Bryant said to a raucous Staples Center crowd. “This is crazy. This is absolutely crazy. To be here standing at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating the journey we’ve been on. We’ve been through our ups, and we’ve been through our downs, and I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout.”

On Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday we remember that epic conclusion to an, even more, epic career:

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.