Kobe Bryant's Sister Celebrates His 45th Birthday With Touching Throwback Photos

Kobe Bryant's sister, Sharia Washington, is remembering her brother on what would have been his 45th birthday. "Your physical presence is missed every day, but your legacy will live on forever. Happy birthday Bean! Love you," she captioned an Instagram post on August 23. She also included a quote that her brother once said. "You are responsible for how people remember you—or don't. So don't take it lightly," it read. Washington shared five throwback photos of memories that she shared with the former Los Angeles Lakers player, including a couple of them when they were children and one when she was pregnant.

The basketball star tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2020. Bryant, along with eight other people, were killed when the helicopter was met with poor weather conditions, according to the Washington Post. Also on board was Bryan's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. 

Days after the crash, Washington and Bryant's other sister, Shaya Tabb, released a statement to NewsOne. "We are devastated by the loss of our brother, son, our niece, and granddaughter, and our hearts go out to all the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday. Our lives are forever changed," their statement read in part. 

Washington, who was extremely close to her brother, also shared some additional posts in the days leading up to her brother's birthday. 

Fans thanked Kobe Bryan's sister for sharing his memory

Sharia Washington uploaded a handful of posts over the course of a week, remembering her brother and all the fun they had together over the years. On August 20, she shared a photo of her with her siblings from 1980 on her Instagram feed. In every post, she referred to her baby bro as "bean," which appears to be the cute nickname she had for him. Quite a few fans thanked Washington for sharing the snap. "I love that you share with us. It really helps us all. Thank you, Sharia," read one Instagram comment. "The expression on his face always analyzing. He is so missed. Bless you for sharing your brother," another Instagram user wrote. Two days later, Washington shared an Instagram photo of a teenage Bryant from 1993.

Washington remains close with Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, as evidenced by her Instagram feed. A little more than one year after Bryant's death, Washington made headlines after Vanessa gifted her a new car. "Surprise @shariawash! We love you!!!" Bryant's widow captioned an Instagram post at the time.