Many people grieve in different ways, and one person who can personally vouch for that is NBA legend, Michael Jordan.
When speaking with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently, the former Bulls shooting guard revealed that he hasn’t yet deleted his text exchange with the late Kobe Bryant.
Jordan explained that even though it hurts to revisit the messages, he still can’t bring himself to delete their conversation or Bryant’s number from his phone.
Jordan explained that his and Bryant’s final text conversation was brief but joyful, with the two checking in on each other’s families and joking about Bryant’s future as a potential coach.
Their text conversation took place in December 2019, over a month before Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash, which also killed his daughter Gianna and seven others.
Their entire exchange is as follow:
“This tequila is awesome,” Kobe texted, referring to Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila which he created with Lakers co-ownerJeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck. Jordan sent Bryant a bottle when it first launched 2016.
“Thank you, my brother,” Jordan replied.
“Yes, sir. Family good?” Kobe responded.
“All good. Yours?”
“Happy holidays, and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!” Jordan replied.
Jordan explained he was interested in learning more about Bryant’s interest in coaching his daughter Gianna. “He was really into coaching Gigi,” Jordan explains, “so I hit him up about that.”
“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan laughed.
“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.”
Last Saturday, Bryant was officially inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Jordan attended the ceremony, and stood with Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, as she accepted the honour on her husband’s behalf. Bryant spent his 20-year basketball career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, before retiring in 2016.