UTAH JAZZ

Dwyane Wade, Jazz Players Honor Kobe Bryant On Birthday

Aug 23, 2021, 1:38 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm
Utah Jazz co-owner Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)...
Utah Jazz co-owner Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dwyane Wade and Jordan Clarkson remembered superstar Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 43rd birthday.

The former Los Angeles Lakers guard was killed, along with eight other passengers including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in January of last year.

Wade and Clarkson are the only two members of the Jazz franchise that took the court and competed alongside Bryant during his illustrious basketball career.

“Mamba Forever,” Wade tweeted. “Happy Birthday Big Bro.”

Wade and Bryant shared the floor for the US Men’s Olympic Basketball team at the 2012 games in Beijing. The pair won a gold medal defeating Spain in the Olympic final.

Though they never played on the same team, Wade and Kobe competed against one another for 13 seasons in the NBA before the Lakers star retired in 2016.

Clarkson, the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year also extended his birthday wishes to Bryant on Twitter.

“Happy Bday @kobebryant,” Clarkson wrote. “You are missed bro!!”

The guard began his career in Los Angeles playing alongside Bryant after getting selected by the Lakers in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. Clarkson spent two seasons with the Hall of Famer before his retirement.

All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and second-year wing Elijah Hughes also extended birthday wishes to Bryant.

“Happy birthday Bean,” Mitchell wrote using the superstar’s middle name.

“Happy birthday mamba,” Hughes added, “truly truly missed.”

In addition to his tweet, the former Syracuse product has a tattoo paying tribute to Bryant.

Hughes’ tattoo is made up of two black mambas in the shape of the number honoring Bryant’s jersey number and nickname.

NBA, Lakers Remember Kobe Bryant

The NBA and the Lakers were among those who celebrated Bryant on his birthday.

The league tweeted an iconic portrait of the guard holding a basketball along with his birthday.

“Remembering Kobe 8.23.78,” the post read.

The Lakers also commemorated the day with a photo of Bryant, along with the slogan that showed his close connection to his daughter Gianna.

“Black Mamba. Hall of Famer,” The Lakers tweeted. “Girl Dad. Happy Birthday, Kobe.”

Before their passing, Bryant and his daughter were seen sitting courtside at NBA and WNBA games.

Bryant spent 20 seasons with the Lakers where he won five championships, was named the 2008 NBA MVP, and at the time he retired, was the league’s third all-time leading scorer.

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