Vince Carter pays heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant on anniversary of his passing

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

On the second anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s death, retired superstar Vince Carter paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers legend on the occasion of Carter’s 45th birthday.

Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed in a tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, an event that devastated the basketball community and beyond.

Carter began his lengthy NBA career in 1998, two years after the elder Bryant began his 20-year tenure with the Lakers.

While the elder Bryant spent his entire time with the Lakers, Carter moved around quite a bit over the course of his time in the NBA. By the time he retired, Carter had played with eight different teams.

During his time as a member of the Toronto Raptors and then-New Jersey Nets, Carter put up his most impressive numbers and no doubt gained a deep appreciation for the accomplishments of the elder Bryant.

Carter played in the NBA until March 2020, when the league shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That jarring news came less than two months after the elder Bryant’s stunning death.

The elder Bryant’s impact on other NBA players has since been evident over the past two years, with others noting how the Lakers legend freely offered his advice and counsel.

During the elder Bryant’s 20 years in the NBA, he managed to lead the Lakers to five league championships and set an example for others with his tireless commitment to excellence.

Carter’s birthday celebration may once again be bittersweet for him. Yet, it’s clear that the impact that the elder Bryant had on his life is something that will always be present.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.