The late Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday by none other than Michael Jordan. It is hardly the first time that Jordan has honored Bryant since his passing last year — he spoke at the memorial service for Bryant at Staples Center — but any opportunity for Jordan to speak publicly, particularly about a person he considered a little brother, will draw eyeballs.
Ahead of the ceremony, 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.