On Saturday (May 15), over a decade after he was bestowed the honor, Michael Jordan will induct his late friend Kobe Bryant into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In preparation for the big day, he spoke to ESPN about the Lakers legend and their final conversation, even leaking a few of their text exchanges for good measure.
Jordan spoke to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN about the last time he spoke with Bryant prior to the tragic helicopter crash that took his life. Specifically, Jordan revealed the texts the pair exchanged on Dec. 8, 2019, which started with a brief discussion about his recently-launched tequila company and ended with Coach Kobe making a cameo.
“This tequila is awesome,” Kobe texted, referring to Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila, a bottle of which was sent to Bryant at the launch.
“Thank you, my brother,” Jordan responded.
“Yes, sir. Family good?” Kobe replied.
“All good. Yours?”
Jordan smiled, then decided to have a little fun. “He was really into coaching Gigi,” MJ explains, “so I hit him up about that.”
“Happy holidays,” Jordan texted back, “and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!”
“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan chuckles.
“Ah, back at you, man,” Kobe wrote. “Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”
Beyond the fact that this story is great because we learned that Michael Jordan is an emoji person, any story about the bond that Bryant shared with his daughter Gianna, who among those who passed away in the accident, is heartwarming. Hopefully Jordan has a few more up his sleeve and we get to hear them this weekend.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday (May 15) at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The likes of Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will be inducted alongside Bryant.