A Look Back at Kobe Bryant's Incredible Career on His 43rd Birthday

Late NBA legend Kobe Bryant would have turned 43 years old Monday.

His wife Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to share a love note honoring their "eternal love."

"Happy birthday, Papi. Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno. ❤️💔 43," she wrote alongside a photo of the two kissing.

Bryant was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Jan. 26, 2020.

The lifelong Los Angeles Laker, had his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired on Dec. 18, 2017, becoming the first NBA player to have both his jerseys retired.

Take a look back at Bryant's storied career in photos as we remember the Black Mamba's impact on the sports world and beyond.

34 photos
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Five-time champion Kobe Bryant enjoys his final NBA title with his kids.
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Kobe Bryant played his rookie season in 1996-97.
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No. 8 Kobe Bryant was an athletic monster and won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in his rookie year.
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In 2000, Kobe Bryant played in his first NBA finals.
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With Shaq, Kobe Bryant won the 2000 NBA title.
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No. 8 Kobe's Lakers and Kings had a playoff rivalry.
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Tim Duncan and the Spurs were regular postseason foes.
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In the 2001 finals, Allen Iverson's Sixers offered a challenge.
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Lakers won the 2001 finals and went 15-1 in the playoffs.
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In 2002, Kobe's Lakers do the threepeat. They beat Jason Kidd's Nets.
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Manu Ginobili, one of the few to last from No. 8 to No. 24.
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Kobe led the 2004 Lakers' super team to the NBA finals.
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Lakers fell to Pistons in the 2004 NBA finals.
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Shaq and Kobe split in 2004.
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Kobe looks to Lamar Odom for Lakers' turnaround.
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No. 8: Kobe Bryant outscored the Mavs 62-61 over three quarters.
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Kobe Bryant once scored 61 points at Madison Square Garden.
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Various so-called rivals came and went.
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A new generation of rivals emerged.
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More new challengers to Kobe's throne.
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Kobe changed numbers, rivals changed teams.
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In 2007, Kobe Bryant requested a trade away from the Lakers.
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Instead of trading Kobe, the Lakers traded for Paul Gasol.
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And Kobe Bryant won his only MVP trophy in 2008.
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...But Kobe's Lakers lost in the 2008 NBA finals to the hated Boston Celtics.
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Kobe led team USA to Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008.
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Finally, Kobe wins a title without Shaq.
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No. 24 wins Finals MVP and NBA Title No. 4 in 2009 along with long-time teammate Derek Fisher.
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Kobe Bryant met Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as Champion.
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Kobe passed me the ball! Lakers beat Celtics in 2010!
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Kobe Bryant: 18-Time All-Star, 4-time All-Star Game MVP.
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Kobe Bryant tears his Achilles' heel, still hits two free throws.
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Kobe Bryant passes his mentor Michael Jordan on NBA's all-time scoring list.
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Mamba Out! Kobe scores 60 points in his farewell game.
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