Players, teams pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 42nd birthday

Kobe was one of NBA's greatest gifts (3:28)

Michael Wilbon reflects on Kobe Bryant's life on and off the court, as he would have turned 42 on Sunday. (3:28)

The NBA and sports worlds are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant on what would have been the Basketball Hall of Famer's 42nd birthday. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26.

On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant delivered a personal and heartfelt birthday message:

"To my baby -- Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU!," the post read. "I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh...

"Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi in celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you now, forever and always."

More birthday wishes and tributes for Kobe are pouring in on social media.

Stars across the sports world took to social media to pay tribute to the Black Mamba.

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum wore an "In Memory Of Kobe Bryant" shirt ahead of Game 4 between the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, where a Kobe and Gianna tribute banner surrounded the court pregame.

Monday is Aug. 24, also known as Mamba Day (8/24). The Houston Rockets paid tribute before their playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, will wear special edition Black Mamba-themed jerseys for their Game 4 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

MORE: Inside Kobe Bryant's two legendary careers