There’s yet another celebrity birthday to be celebrated, and this time it’s for Pau Gasol. The former Los Angeles Lakers star spent many years as teammates with late icon Kobe Bryant, so when his good friend lost his life in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna, Pau Gasol has stepped up to help the Bryant family in any way he can. On Monday (July 6), Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant shared a few heartwarming photos of Gasol with her daughters and wrote a sweet birthday message to “Uncle Pau.”

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Vanessa Bryant, Birthday
Ronald Martinez / Staff / Getty Images

“Happy 40th birthday uncle Pau! We ❤️you. Love, The Bryant Girls. I know Kobe would say,’Happy 40th birthday Pablo! Love you, Hermano’. ❤️ @paugasol (thx for Natalia’s #boomboompau sweatshirt auntie @catmcdonnell7 ☺️),” Vanessa penned in the caption to a series of Instagram photos. 

Back in May, Pau Gasol spoke about his friendship with Kobe Bryant. “To me, he was kind of the big brother that I never had,” he said. “A person that I could count on, that I could rely on. That I could reach out, and we could talk, and we would just enjoy it… We would just talk about stuff. It was two very close people that appreciated each other being close and being human. That’s kind of what he meant to me.”

Check out the photos below.

[via]