Just ahead of Kobe Bryant’s induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan the final text messages he exchanged with the late Los Angeles Lakers legend prior to Bryant’s death.
During an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen — Jordan shared that message that occurred December 2019, which was a little over a month before Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash.
Here’s an excerpt from MacMullan’s latest piece on ESPN+:
The final text message, dated Dec. 8, 2019, indicates as much. Kobe sent it to Jordan just after noon, 12:18 p.m. PT.
“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?”
“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.”
“I just love that text, because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature,” Jordan added.
“Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends,” Jordan said, via ESPN.com. “But we were very close friends. … Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
It will be Jordan that will present Kobe Bryant at the class of 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, May 15th.