At Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial at Staples Center in Los Angeles yesterday, Michael Jordan was one of many who gave a speech in remembrance of Bryant’s achievements both on and off the court. Jordan’s speech was incredibly emotional and it reduced the GOAT to tears as he talked about his “little brother.”
Though the two were often compared and pitted against each other when it came to their ability with a basketball, Jordan’s speech gave a rare insight into the tight friendship that had formed between two of the greatest athletes of all time.
The nearly 12-minute speech touched on a range of topics, including the “big brother” role Jordan felt he grew into over time. “Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends. But we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
At one point Jordan, who doesn’t make as many public appearances as one would expect, broke down crying. Even through the tears, though, he managed to make light of the situation, a constant theme throughout the night. “Now he’s got me. I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next … 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,” said Jordan.
Watch Michael Jordan’s entire speech below.