From one basketball legend to another, Michael Jordan is wishing Kobe Bryant the best after his retirement from the NBA. In a personal message played at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday (Dec. 29) before the Lakers faced-off against the Hornets, Jordan congratulated Bryant on his illustrious career. He took a moment to remind fans of the 1996 draft that started it all.
“Most people don’t realize you were drafted by the Hornets,” Jordan said. “That connects us with you. I’ve always been like a big brother and you like a little brother.”
Acknowledging Bryant’s “competitive drive,” Jordan recalled his first game against the Lakers star, calling it “invigorating,” although the the “knowledge wasn’t quite there yet.” MJ also wished Bryant good luck in navigating his next undertaking, encouraging him to channel his competitive spirit into the next career he chooses. As for his mark on the sport, Jordan called himself a fan of Bryant, who he says has been a “big help” to basketball.
“You’ve been a big help to the game of basketball. You helped the NBA. You helped promote it. I’m pretty sure you’ve got a lot of fans all over the world. I’m a big fan. I still love watching you play. I’m very, very happy for you and what you’ve accomplished within the game. I look forward to seeing what you do next. If you ever need me, you know my number.”
In true G.O.A.T. fashion, Jordan wished Bryant a good game, but not too good, as he was facing his Hornets squad. And whether he adhered to that advice on purpose or not, the Lakers did take a 98-108 loss to Charlotte. Watch MJ send his wishes to the Black Mamba in the video below:
Michael Jordan pays his respects to Kobe Bryant before his final game in Charlotte. 💯 #Legends https://t.co/7W1jKpGTvN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 29, 2015