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Nike Releases Heartwarming Birthday Message For Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at a Lakers game.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Today is a bittersweet day for the NBA and the basketball world in general. It would have been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday.

It's been seven months since Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people were killed in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. All this time later and the pain is still acute for so many.

It still doesn't seem real that Kobe Bryant is gone. But to honor his memory,

Kobe taught us to be better. A better scorer, better mentor, better father, better champion. Today, on his birthday, we continue his endless pursuit of better.

Explore #MambaMentality. https://t.co/H4exgG9itT 💜💛

Performance: @kendricklamarpic.twitter.com/1Qm36V9mM6

— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) August 23, 2020

" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Nike basketball tweeted out a video tribute this morning, "Kobe taught us to be better. A better scorer, better mentor, better father, better champion," the Nike tweet reads. "Today, on his birthday, we continue his endless pursuit of better." The video features some highlights of Kobe Bryant, as well as various other athletes, including Megan Rapinoe, Richard Sherman, Anthony Davis and Sabrina Ionescu. The theme is to focus on always becoming "better" at something.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who took a 2-1 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers last night, are set to honor Kobe Bryant tomorrow night during Game 4 of their first round series. They'll wear their special "Black Mamba" jerseys on Kobe Day (August 24 or 8/24).

Without question, it will be an emotional night. And of course, the perfect way for the Lakers to pay tribute to Kobe will be to win.