Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have been often compared throughout the past couple of decades. Because of their similar playing styles and singular focus on winning at all costs, the similarities seemed endless.
Jordan and Bryant were undeniably good friends, and the former was extremely impacted by the latter’s premature passing in a tragic helicopter crash.
This week, in a snippet from Jackie MacMullan’s ‘Icons Club’, Jordan revealed just how his relationship with Bryant had changed throughout the years.
“At first he was an irritant,” Jordan said. “But then secondly it became, it’s a sense of respect. I respect him for that. To me, I’d probably do the same thing.”
At one point, Jordan said that when Bryant died – a piece of him died as well.
During a separate conversation with MacMullan, Jordan also revealed the last communication he ever had with Bryant.
“Yes, sir. Family good?” Bryant asked him.
“All good. Yours?” Jordan wrote back.
“All good,” Bryant responded.
“Happy holidays and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!” Jordan wrote, in reference to all the coaching work Bryant had been doing with his daughter, Gigi.
“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan mentioned with a laugh.
“Ah, back at you, man,” Bryant wrote. “Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”
Bryant was never one to bite his tongue. Be it him opening up about toughest player in the NBA for him to figure out, or how he carried himself in the 2008 Olympics, or his one-of-a kind quote about missing shots – he always kept it real.
A gamechanger for college basketball. https://t.co/WtFvJ5unth
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 21, 2022
That, among other things, was what Jordan loved about him.
While it’s tragic that Bryant’s life ended so early, it’s great that Jordan seems intent on keeping his memory alive.