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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Trending: Birthdays today for Bryant, Lin

By Bill Speros
Special to

Today is the birthday of a good friend and teammate! Happy birthday Kobe! What do you think about the cake!? @lakers…

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 23, 2012

Here's a special birthday cake for the one and only Kobe Bryant! #HappyBirthdayKobe #HappyBirthdayMamba #LakerNation…

— #HappyBirthdayKobe (@LakersWired) August 23, 2012

Birthday candles might be a little scarce these days. August has seen a big run on notable athlete birthdays -- both young and old -- as Tom Brady, Tim Tebow, Ryan Lochte, Carl Yastrzemski, Jeff Gordon and Roger Federer have all blown various amounts of candles in the past few weeks.

Thursday, NBA fans celebrate a doubleheader of sorts -- with Kobe Bryant (34) and Jeremy Lin (24) each having their cake and eating it, too.

Happy Birthday Kobe Bryant ! Thanks for inspiring me and others to ball their hardest ! :)

— Harrison(@TrueFlightzBSM) August 23, 2012

Fans have to be wondering what Bryant would wish for on his birthday -- besides that sixth ring.

Bryant will have to wait until next June -- at the earliest -- for that one.

This summer, he already has gotten another gold medal, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

What's left? Maybe Phil Jackson?

The NBA offered a quick look at some highlights from his Year 33:

Happy 34th to the @lakers' Kobe Bryant! Kobe's Top 10 Plays from the 2012 regular season: #HappyBirthdayBean

— NBA (@NBA) August 23, 2012

Kobe hasn't stopped since London, scoring 68 points in 15 minutes during an exhibition game in China:

Kobe just went to China & had thousands of fans greeting him. Tebow wouldn't get that same response & still waiting on a Super Bowl from him

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 22, 2012

Until Wednesday, that is. Bryant posted the following message on his Facebook page:

From Kobe Bryant via Facebook

"It's been a long yet short summer. I'm gonna try to enjoy what's left of it as much as possible. My oldest wants to learn how to surf so it looks like the beach it is for me. Don't worry Lakerland, I'm not hopping on a board any time soon -- just supervising :-) I'm going to enjoy this time of rest as much as possible while still focusing on not losing what I've gained from all of my training thus far. Here's my late night work session pic with my partner in crime, Cesar. He's a Sable German Shepherd from Germany. It's good to have my training partner back, LOL - Holla at you soon..Mamba out."

No word on birthday plans.

Any other suggestions on birthday gifts?


If you see any offbeat and fresh newsy links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or