Kobe Bryant’s funeral at Staples Center was filled with a number notable celebrities and athletes including Michael Jordan. After Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant delivered a moving speech during the service, it was Jordan who helped her off the stage. Here is a look at the heartwarming moment that has gone viral.
It was just a few minutes before Jordan would deliver his own moving speech. Jordan was one of Bryant’s NBA idols as the former Lakers star grew up watching the legendary player. After Bryant’s death, Jordan described himself as being in “shock” and called him his “little brother.”
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” Jordan noted in a statement. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe- he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply- and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”
Michael Jordan Described Kobe Bryant as a “Close Friend” & “Little Brother” During His Speech at the Memorial Service
Jordan was one of the notable speakers at Bryant’s memorial service. The funeral was a star-studded event that featured performances from Beyonce and Alicia Keys. Additional speakers at Bryant’s memorial included Rob Pelinka, Diana Taurasi and Jimmy Kimmel. An emotional Jordan joked that Bryant had once again turned himself into a crying meme.
While Bryant was still playing in the NBA, the All-Star called Jordan his “big brother” noting he admired his “competitive spirit.”
“We hit it off very well,” Bryant said, per Bleacher Report. “He was really like a big brother, and whether it’s because we see things in a similar way in terms of our competitive spirit or fire or whatever the case may be, there’s an understanding that we have—a connection that we have.”
Kobe Described His Relationship With MJ as “Really, Really Good”
Jordan discussed his close relationship with Bryant during a heartfelt speech. It was one of the most moving parts of Bryant’s memorial service. Bryant admitted they had a “really, really good relationship.”
“I don’t know if he opened up with me more than he did with other players, I’m not sure,” Bryant noted, per Bleacher Report. “I don’t know if other players had the balls even to ask. But we have a really, really good relationship.”
Jordan’s speech was one of the most memorable parts of Bryant’s memorial service. The New York Times’ Marc Stein noted that the image of Jordan crying is likely to remain with fans for a long time.
“Don’t think anyone watching today will ever forget this image of Michael Jeffrey Jordan … talking about his friend Kobe Bean Bryant …,” Stein noted on Twitter.