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#pounditMonday, June 14, 2021

Michael Jordan reveals last text exchange he had with Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had an extremely close relationship before Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash last year. Jordan admits he has had trouble accepting the tragedy, which is one of the reasons he can’t bring himself to erase the last communication he ever had with Kobe.

As he prepares to be the presenter for Bryant’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jordan spoke with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan about the ways in which he has coped with Kobe’s death. The six-time champion revealed that he still has the final text messages he exchange with Bryant saved on his phone.

Jordan shared the exchange with MacMullan. He said Kobe reached out to him to tell M.J. how much he enjoyed his Cincoro Tequila, which had just launched. The two then discussed Bryant’s two biggest passions — family and basketball. You can see the full conversation below:

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?”

“All good.”

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.”

Jordan, one of the fiercest competitors in sports history, also admitted he is nervous about inducting Kobe into the Hall of Fame. He said he was initially concerned about losing his composure but “realized I’m not going to be nervous about showing emotions for someone I absolutely loved.”

“That’s the humanistic side of me — people tend to forget I do have one,” Jordan said.

Kobe idolized Jordan and modeled his game after the six-time NBA champion. We were reminded of that when “The Last Dance” aired last year, as Kobe gave Jordan credit for his own five championship rings when he was interviewed for the documentary.

Bryant openly tried to play like Jordan, talk like him, lead like him, and win like him. Even his love letter to basketball was just like Jordan’s. The two shared a lot of great memories together, and you can expect Jordan to do a great job of recapping that on Saturday.

H/T Bleacher Report

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