On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant would have turned 44 ... his better half, Vanessa, composed on Instagram that she loves and misses him to such an extent.

Vanessa posted a photograph of herself and her NBA legend spouse from 2009,

the year Kobe brought home his fourth NBA championship and first NBA Finals MVP grant.

After the game, Bryant embraced Vanessa - - wearing his 2009 NBA title shirt and cap - - and they were both all grins.

It was the 40-year-old's birthday on Tuesday, and he wished her an extremely blissful birthday for the whole family.

As a recognition for Kobe, whom she wedded in April 2001, and her girl Gigi, Vanessa got tattoos in their honor,

sent off the Mambacita clothing line, and took her three different girls to Italy.

In July, Vanessa said, "my better half and I visited Reggio Calabria, which is a city he lived in when he was around eight years of age."

During his 20 seasons in the NBA, he brought home five titles and two MVP grants in the NBA Finals....

Happy Heavenly Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant.❤️