Michael Jordan will deliver a speech on Saturday for Kobe Bryant’s entry into the Hall of Fame. In an interview with ESPN on this occasion, the former star of the Chicago Bulls says that he has not forgotten anything about his last exchange with Black Mamba.
Sometimes presented as a robot during his career, or some sort of cold-blooded animal, obsessed with winning and nothing else, Michael Jordan broke the shell in February 2020, when he burst into tears while delivering a speech during the Kobe Bryant tribute ceremony. “At first I was a little nervous about it, but I realized that you shouldn’t be nervous about showing emotions towards someone I loved deeply”, explains today the six-time NBA champion in an interview with ESPN.
It must be said that fifteen months later, the former star of the Chicago Bulls could again have a wet eye on Saturday. While Bryant will enter the Hall of Fame, it is Jordan who has been chosen to “present” Black Mamba in front of the audience.
“We are blowing up the team opposite”
“Vanessa (the widow of Kobe Bryant, editor’s note) asked me to take care of it, confides MJ. In all honesty, I think that Kobe would have chosen me or Shaq, since they won three championships together. …) It will be a great honor. It’s like saying hello to a family member. He gave me the utmost respect by trying to duplicate some things that I have achieved. I can only return the favor to him by showing my admiration for this guy who is one of the greatest basketball players in history. “
In recent days, Michael Jordan thinks a lot about Kobe Bryant. And especially in their last text exchange, which he read to ESPN. An exchange that dates from December 8, 2019, a month and a half before the tragic disappearance of the former Lakers star:
-Bryant: “This tequila is incredible” (in reference to the Cincoro Tequila brand launched by MJ)
-Jordan: “Thank you brother”
-Bryant: “Is the family okay?”
-Jordan: “Impeccable, and yours?”
Jordan explains that he then teased Bryant about his hobby of the moment: coaching his daughter Gigi in basketball. Coincidentally, Black Mamba was right on the edge of the parquet floors with his offspring.
-Jordan: “Hope to see you soon, Coach Kobe”
-Bryant: “I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blasting the team across the way. 45-8 for us.”
Read like this, the exchange is not incredible. But for Jordan, who says he rereads it every now and then, it’s special. “I love that last post,” he slips. Why? Because it shows the competitive nature of Kobe. ”