Michael Jordan can’t let go of this memory between him and Kobe Bryant. Could any of us, though?
Ahead of the athlete’s Hall of Fame induction on Saturday, the 58-year-old basketball player sat down for an interview with ESPN, where he revealed the last text exchange with Kobe. In the messages from Dec. 8, 2019, the pair joked about Michael’s tequila brand and Bryant coaching Gianna Bryant.
Related: Lamar Odom Says Kobe Bryant Promised To Help With Debts Before He Died
After the late friend received a bottle of Cincoro Tequila, he reached out to tell the former Chicago Bulls player that the “tequila is awesome.” They then proceeded to ask about how their family has been — which were “good” at the time. Jordan went on to question Kobe about how coaching his then 13-year-old daughter was going, writing:
“Happy holidays and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!”
The shooting guard joked back:
“Ah, back at you, man. Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”
Michael then confessed in the interview how he loved “that text because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature,” before adding:
“I don’t know why, but I just can’t delete it.”
Understandably so! We would not want to either as it is just such a beautiful and sweet interaction that also perfectly sums up a part of who the Philly native was.
As you likely know, Kobe and Gigi passed away in a tragic helicopter crash in January 2020, along with seven other people. A month later, Michael had paid tribute to the longtime pal at his memorial service. He said at the time:
“Maybe it surprises people that Kobe and I were close friends, but we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I, but I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
The businessman also shared how he chatted on “late-night calls” with the L.A. Lakers star, saying:
“We talked about business, we talked about family, we talked about everything and he was just trying to be a better person.”
Seems like it given this final conversation! He then concluded the emotional speech, expressing:
“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look at this arena and across the globe, a piece of you died. 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.”
Wow… It has only been a little over a year, but Kobe’s loss still feels so real, especially with his friends and family. What are your reactions to Michael’s final words with the producer? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via DJDM/WENN & Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]
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