On January 26, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash along with eight other people, including his daughter Gianna “Gigi.” The other individuals who died in the crash are the pilot Ara Zobayan, Gianna’s teammate Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester, one of Gianna’s teammates, Alyssa Altobelli, and Altobelli’s parents, Keri and John.
On February 24, the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and Gigi took place. It was held in the Staples Center, the home of the Black Mamba’s longtime team, the Lakers.
Michael Jordan’s Speech Was Filled With Emotion & Humor
Jordan’s nearly five-minute speech covered his relationship with Bryant and his family.
During his speech, Jordan said, “I’m grateful to be here to honor Gigi and to celebrate the gift that Kobe gave us all. What he accomplished as a basketball player, as a businessman and a storyteller, and as a father.”
In tears, Jordan humorously said during the speech, “I’m going to have to look at another crying meme.”
Jordan also said, “Kobe never left anything on the court. And I think that’s what he would want for us to do. No one knows how much time we have, that’s why we must live in the moment. We must enjoy the moment. We must reach and see and spend as much time as we can with our family and friends and the people we absolutely love. To live in the moment means to enjoy each and everyone we come in contact with.”
The NBA legend finished his speech, “When Kobe Bryant died a piece of me died. And as I look in this arena and across the globe a piece of you died, or else you wouldn’t be here. Those are the memories that we have to live with, and we learn from. 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.”
Kobe Bryant Spoke About the First Time He Shared the Court With Michael Jordan
Right after his passing, The Score posted a video on Twitter of Kobe Bryant previously speaking about facing Michael Jordan for the first time.
*Note: The video below features NSFW language.
Kobe Bryant, who was playing for the LA Lakers and was 18-years-old, faced Michael Jordan for the first time in 1996. Jordan, who was playing for the Chicago Bulls, ended up scoring 30 points in that game.