Kobe Byrant memorial: Michael Jordan recalls ‘little brother’s’ late-night calls and being asked to coach Gigi
Michael Jordan gave an emotional eulogy at Kobe Bryant and Gianna's memorial service and said, "I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could"
Michael Jordan started by sharing how grateful he was that Vanessa and her family gave him the opportunity to speak at the memorial. He was in tears as he said that everyone always talked about the comparison between Michael and Kobe, but he wanted to talk only about Kobe and in the tribute, as he recalled many things about the late basketball star, he also said, "Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died."
His tribute was emotional and he recalled all the times that he had spent with Kobe, and the different things that the two spoke about in person and over the phone, Jordan was in tears. However, he lightened it a bit when he noted that there is going to be another meme of himself crying that he would now have to look at. He is referring to when 'Crying Jordan' went viral while he was inducted in the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame.
He also recalled how Kobe had once messaged him at 2 am to discuss how he should teach his daughter some moves. He had asked Jordan what he was thinking when he was his daughter's age to find the right thing to teach. So when Michael asked, at what age, Kobe had said "12." All Jordan could do was respond with how he was playing baseball when he was 12. This is just one of the many conversations that Michael and Kobe had had.
He said, "You know all of us have brothers, little brothers, little sisters, that for whatever reason tend to get in your stuff, your closets, your shoes, everything ... it was a nuisance if I can use that word. But that nuisance turned into love over a period of time, just because of the admiration they had for you, as big brothers, big sisters. The questions, the wanting to know every little detail about the life they were about to embark on."
He added, "He used to call me, text me, 11:30, 2:30, 3:30 in the morning, talking about post-up moves, footwork, and sometimes, the triangle [offense move]. At first, it was an aggravation. But then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had a passion like you would never know. ... What Kobe Bryant was for me was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way I played the game or the way that he wanted to play the game. He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be, and, as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be."
He also said about 'Crying Jordan', "I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this because I didn’t want to see that for the next three or four years. That is what Kobe Bryant does to me. He knows how to get to you in a way that effects you personally, even if he’s being a pain in the ass. He can bring out the best in you, and he did that for me.”
Jordan ended the eulogy by saying, "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. Rest in Peace, little brother."