It’s been more than a year since the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, and for some, it’s still been tough to wrap their heads around.
Among those affected most by the NBA great’s passing are his family and other legendary players. Few are in a class of their own like Bryant is– but Michael Jordan is part of that shortlist. The death hit Jordan so hard that he hasn’t deleted the text thread he shared with the former Los Angeles Laker and shared the final conversation with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.
Kobe: “This tequila is awesome,” referring to the bottle of Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila that he was gifted.
Jordan: “Thank you, my brother.”
Kobe: “Yes, sir. Family good?”
Jordan: “All good. Yours?”
Kobe: “All good.”
In typical Jordan fashion, he had to take a few competitive digs and brought up how much he was really into coaching his daughter Gigi around December.
Jordan: “Happy holidays, and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!” alongside the crying laughing emoji.
Kobe: “Ah, back at you, man. Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”
“I just love that text because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature,” Jordan told MacMullan.
Jordan spoke at Bryant’s memorial service in February 2020, where he lovingly referred to Kobe as a little brother and remembered just how passionate he was about basketball, saying, “He used to call me, text me, 11:30, 2:30, 3:00 in the morning, talking about post-up moves, footwork, and sometimes the triangle. At first, it was an aggravation, but then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know.”
His Airness is also be tasked with the honor of inducting the Black Mamba into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 15.