Michael Jordan cries in moving speech at Kobe Bryant memorial. Michael Jordan could not hold back his tears as he paid tribute to his “brother” Kobe Bryant in a Monday memorial service.
“In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank,” said Jordan, addressing a capacity crowd at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. “He left it all on the floor.”
Michael Jordan let the world know how close they were and how he doesn’t like the comparisons people do between the two NBA greats. “Maybe it surprised people … but we were very close friends,” said Jordan.
“Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
Jordan said Bryant came to him for advice on improving his game.
“At first, it was an aggravation,” he said. “But then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know.
“He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be,” Jordan continued. “And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”
Jordan admitted he didn’t want another famous internet meme of him in tears like the one online from his induction to the game’s hall of fame.
“I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this because I didn’t want to see this for another three or four years,” a joking Jordan stated. “This is what Kobe Bryant does to you.”
Kobe and Gigi Bryant’s celebration of life at Staples Center was a touching tribute to the Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter. Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera performed, and the arena was packed with those Kobe and Gigi have loved and inspired.
On stage, O’Neal remembered a time when Bryant wouldn’t pass the ball. He went to speak to him, and said “Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team.”
Kobe, Shaq said, replied, “I know. But there’s an ‘M-E’ in that motherfucker.”