On Monday, thousands of people filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles to remember Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other individuals who perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.
That included many of the biggest celebrities and basketball players in the world, some of who spoke to those in attendance and watching live. Amongst the speakers were basketball greats Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.
In the emotional Michael Jordan speech about Kobe Bryant, one of the game’s greatest players, gave his thoughts on another of the legends of the league.
Michael Jordan delivers speech at Kobe memorial
The Kobe Bryant memorial service featured many emotional moments on Monday, including six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan breaking down as he described a friendship that he developed with the Lakers star.
“Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother,” a teary-eyed Jordan told everyone.
“You know all of us have sisters and brothers…Little brothers, little sisters for whatever reason, always tend to get into your stuff. Your closet, your shoes, everything. It was a nuisance if I could say that word, but that nuisance turned into love just because of the admiration they had for you as big brothers or big sisters,” Jordan mentioned while recalling his relationship with the late Kobe Bryant.
“He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be and as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be,” Jordan said in part of his speech.
He’d go on to recall frequent text message exchanges between him and Bryant, some of which came in the early hours of the morning. One of those exchanges involved Kobe picking Jordan’s brain for advice to give his daughter.
Bryant asked Jordan what he was thinking about as a 12-year-old who ultimately became great at basketball. Jordan texted back that he was worried about being a baseball player, to which Kobe replied, “LMAO.”
Jordan joked about popular crying meme
Michael Jordan not only had tears in everyone’s eyes but also found ways to lighten the mood, causing the crowd to roar with laughter during parts of his speech.
“I took great pride as I got to know Kobe Bryant that he was just trying to be a better person. A better basketball player. We talked about business. We talked about family. We talked about everything and he was just trying to be a better person,” Jordan said while recalling his relationship with Kobe.
“Now he’s got me. I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next,” Jordan started as the crowd erupted into laughter and applause. “I told my wife I wasn’t gonna do this because I didn’t want to see that for the next three or four years,” MJ added.
No one should retire the crying Jordan meme. It should just be used for sincerity now. pic.twitter.com/p1WOK8KFrx
— myles brown (@mdotbrown) February 24, 2020
“That is what Kobe Bryant does to me,” Jordan said. “I’m pretty sure Vanessa and his friends all can say the same thing. He knows how to get to you in a way that affects you personally.”
“I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could. Please rest in peace, little brother,” Jordan closed his speech with.
Michael Jordan shared a special relationship with fellow basketball great Kobe Bryant, a player whom many felt drew inspiration from studying MJ’s ways.
Now, Jordan is drawing new inspiration to live his life based on what he saw from the great Kobe Bryant during the friendship they shared.