Michael Jordan’s Makes ‘Crying Jordan’ Joke During Emotional Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan
Frederic J. Brown/AFP for Getty Images

NBA legend Michael Jordan delivered a tearful memorial tribute to his “brother,” Kobe Bryant, during Monday’s memorial service.

Jordan was asked to the stage to speak about the loss of the famed former L.A. Laker.

“In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank,” Jordan said during the memorial at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. “He left it all on the floor.”

The greatest NBA player of all-time delivered an uplifting address and buoyed the family of the fallen star and his daughter, who died in the helicopter crash near Calabasas, California.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look across the globe, a piece of you died,” Jordan said from the podium. “I’m grateful to Vanessa and the Bryant family for the opportunity to speak today,” he continued. “I’m grateful to honor Gigi and Kobe. What he accomplished as a basketball player, as a businessman, as a storyteller and as a father, the game of basketball in life as a parent.”

Jordan’s voice momentarily faltered before he regained his composure.

“As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother I could be, you had to put up the aggravation, the late-night calls, and the dumb questions. I took great pride as I got to know Kobe Bryant that he was just trying to be a better person. We talked about business. We talked about family. We talked about everything, and he was just trying to be a better person,” Jordan continued.

“Now he’s got me … I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next,” he continued. “I told my wife I was going to do this because I didn’t want to see this for the next three of four years. He knows how to get to you in a way that affects you personally. Even if he’s a pain in the ass, he brings out the best in you, and he did that for me.

“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,” Jordan joked as the crowd laughed. “This is what Kobe Bryant does to you.”

Jordan admitted that he and Bryant were close friends.

“We could talk about anything that related to basketball or anything that related to life,” he said. “As we grow up in life, it’s rare you can have conversations like that. I can’t wait to get home and be a girl dad … he taught me that. These are the thing we’ll continue to learn about Kobe Bryant.”

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