The NBA world came together on Sunday to simultaneously mourn the death of Kobe Bryant while honoring his memory on his birthday. Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez joined the multitudes remembering Bryant, but he also turned his attention to Vanessa Bryant. He asked for prayers for the late NBA player's wife as she dealt with a difficult day.
Rodriguez posted a video tribute to Bryant on Twitter Sunday morning while reminiscing about his friendship with the former Los Angeles Lakers player. He talked about Bryant's work ethic and how legends are never forgotten. The former MLB star then continued with another tweet and asked for fans to say a prayer. Rodriguez understood that what would have been Bryant's 42nd birthday would become very difficult and emotional for his family.
Legends are missed, but never forgotten.
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. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/F1IxskIDyP— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) August 23, 2020
"On what would be his 42nd birthday, I ask that everyone please say a prayer for Vanessa and his family. Love you, Kobe," Rodriguez tweeted. When the fans saw this tweet, they responded and promised to do what he asked. Some even proclaimed that they have prayed daily for Vanessa and the family since Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Vanessa did post an emotional tribute to her husband on Sunday, which took the form of a long Instagram message. She thanked Bryant for teaching her to be strong and for loving her enough to last multiple lifetimes. She also surprised some by saying that "it should have been me" in reference to Bryant's death.
"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," 'part of the message read. "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. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should've been me."
As Vanessa explained, she wants to cry but instead puts on a smile for her and Bryant's daughters. "I'm not the strong one, they are. They're strong and resilient. I'm sure you're proud of them," she wrote. Vanessa then wished her late husband a happy birthday from the entire family.