In Memory of Kobe Bryant
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ViolaMB
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 3:49 pm    Post subject:

The last communication between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

He still has the final text message saved on his phone.

Michael Jordan retrieves it from time to time, even though it refreshes his grief, triggers the urge to wonder all over again, as so many others have, "Why?"

Almost sixteen months after the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six other companions as well as the pilot in a helicopter crash, it remains agonizing to process. Jordan, who was Kobe's mentor, confidant and friend, has been mulling over how to put Bryant's life into context because he will be inducting him into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. It is a responsibility that comes with a mix of distinction and dread.

Jordan still can't speak of Kobe without a little hitch in his voice, a catch of emotion that hasn't subsided since he spoke at Bryant's memorial service last February and openly wept over the loss of his "little brother." As the tears streamed down his face, Jordan joked about creating a new Jordan crying meme for the thirsty social media throngs.

"I told my wife I wouldn't do this, because I didn't want to see it for the next three or four years," Jordan said on that day. "This is what Kobe Bryant does to me. He knows how to get to you in a way that affects you personally ... even if he is a pain in the ass."

Time has passed, but the grief lingers, simmering on the surface. Jordan acknowledges that he had some concerns about how he would maintain his composure during the induction ceremony.
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"I was thinking, at first, I might be a little somewhat nervous about it, but then I realized I'm not going to be nervous about showing emotions for someone I absolutely loved," Jordan says. "That's the humanistic side of me -- people tend to forget I do have one."

It is always heart-wrenching when people die young. The crash claimed the lives of three teenagers and young parents, all of whom left families behind. Bryant, just 41 years old, had settled comfortably into his basketball retirement, Jordan says, focusing on spending time with his wife, Vanessa, his four daughters and a burgeoning portfolio of literary, entertainment, coaching and basketball-related business ventures.

"He was just so happy," Jordan says. "He was doing so well."

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?"

"All good."

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."

Eleven days following that exchange, Bryant learned he had been officially nominated for the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot entry. Forty-nine days later, he was gone.

"I just love that text," Jordan says, "because it shows Kobe's competitive nature."

It was one of many qualities the two men shared. Each was relentless in their pursuit of winning, even as teammates occasionally became casualties of that white-hot intensity. They talked about the trappings of fame, the jealousy of others, the insatiable thirst for perfection.

"His style of play was identical to mine," Jordan says. "He stayed true to his course, and I respect that."

On Dec. 17, 1997, at the United Center, a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant bounded off the bench for the Lakers and scored 33 points in 29 minutes. Jordan, suitably impressed, sought out the second-year player after the game to compliment him. Bryant immediately began peppering him with questions about shooting release points. The conversation was brief, but warm. "If you ever need anything," Jordan told him, "just call ..."

Kobe did. Again, and again, and again. Sometimes at 2 o'clock in the morning. Sometimes before the sun came up. Bryant wondered about Jordan's turnaround jump shot, how to create misdirection, the best way to ward off bigger, stronger players in the post. In later years, the questions involved endorsements, the quest for privacy, advice on how to manage their shared need not just to beat someone, but to break them. Kobe made no secret of his goal: It was to be like Mike, or, if possible, to be even better.

"He was a mentally tough kid, maybe even tougher than I was," Jordan says. "Remember, the people who followed me, my fans, didn't like that he was trying to copy what I had done."
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were intertwined since the early days of Bryant's career. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Bryant's induction into the Hall of Fame, along with a star-studded group of peers that includes Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, became official on April 4, 2020. He never had the opportunity to place a call to Michael Jordan to see if he would present him. "Vanessa asked me once he passed away," Jordan explains. "In all honesty, I knew he probably would. It was either me or Shaq, since they won three championships together."

Jordan says about six months ago he sent Vanessa a text to check in on her.

"I told her, 'Look, I know this is a tough time. I'm always here if you need me,'" Jordan says. "She answered back, 'I would love it if you stood up for Kobe at the Hall of Fame.'

"It's going to be a great honor, to be honest. It's like standing up for a family member. He paid me the highest respect by trying to emulate certain things I did. And I can only repay that by showing my support and admiration for a guy who I felt was one of the greatest to ever play the game."

Jordan says Bryant's blockbuster career with the Lakers, during which he won five championships, has overshadowed how initially difficult it was for Bryant to integrate himself into a league as a teenager who was not yet physically or mentally mature, and was often isolated from, and even scorned by, his older teammates.

"In some ways, Kobe was self-made," Jordan says. "People forget that. He was an 18-year-old kid that made himself into one of the best.

"To me, it was all from hard work and dedication. All the effort he put forth. He should be a great role model for a lot of kids who at 18 may not want to go to college, that may want to play basketball somewhere.

"He showed them how. And he sat on the bench for a long time before he got his chance. People forget that, too. But when he got his shot, he took advantage of it."

Jordan will have no shortage of material to illustrate the greatness of his friend. There are the five rings, the two Finals MVPs, the regular-season MVP in 2008, the 15 All-NBA selections, the 12 All-Defense nods and the four All-Star MVP trophies. But it's the father, the friend and the kindred spirit that Jordan misses most. During Kobe's memorial at the Staples Center, Jordan told the assembled crowd, "When Kobe died, a part of me died."

Maybe that explains why Kobe's number -- along with that final text -- remains on Michael Jordan's phone.

"I don't know why," he says, "but I just can't delete it."



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EchoZulu
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 9:58 pm    Post subject:

Message to Julius Randle:

This is Kobe's f'king house and forever will it be.
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 8:01 am    Post subject:

EchoZulu wrote:
Message to Julius Randle:

This is Kobe's f'king house and forever will it be.


I was thinking this very thing as RandALL was popping off. Silly Julius...you arent even on the level of Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones or even Cedric Ceballos amongst Laker fans.
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kwase
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 6:51 pm    Post subject:

It's about time those heartless firefighters were fired. Hopefully they don't receive their pension either.


https://www.tmz.com/2021/05/12/la-firefighters-fired-taking-kobe-bryant-helicopter-crash-photos/
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panamaniac
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 7:13 pm    Post subject:

Don’t know if I can watch Kobe’s HOF induction atm, I think I’ll get too emotional. But major props to Vanessa for stepping up and speaking on his behalf. She spoke well during the Staples memorial so I’m sure she did him proud.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 6:34 am    Post subject:

KB - 8/24 - HOF

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nevitt_smrek
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 10:50 am    Post subject:

One of those life events where people will always remember where they were, what they were doing, when hearing about it. Friends who aren't sports fan text you. Before reading about the specifics, my mind went immediately to helicopter as the likely cause. Kobe's legacy will live forever.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 5:07 pm    Post subject:

kwase wrote:
It's about time those heartless firefighters were fired. Hopefully they don't receive their pension either.


https://www.tmz.com/2021/05/12/la-firefighters-fired-taking-kobe-bryant-helicopter-crash-photos/


Who the (bleep) takes pictures of someone's mangled dead loved ones? And who the (bleep) wants to look at them just for kicks? Half the people killed were kids.
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 1:26 pm    Post subject:

LASD has got some serious brass ones...the (bleep) NERVE of these people!

https://www.tmz.com/2021/05/19/vanessa-bryant-ripped-los-angeles-county-fishing-expedition-sheriffs-deputies-kobe-crash-photos/

L.A. COUNTY TO VANESSA BRYANT
YOU'RE PUTTING DEPUTIES AT RISK!!!


Quote:
According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, attorneys for L.A. County say Kobe Bryant's widow is aggressively conducting a "fishing expedition that is taking first responders away from their jobs." The County is referring to the fact Vanessa posted the names of 4 deputies who allegedly took pics of remains.


Quote:
In the docs, L.A. County attorneys say Vanessa is going too far with a "straightforward case" ... and her social media posts are exposing the deputies to threats.


How do you even say some (bleep) like this with a straight face??
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 3:40 am    Post subject:

nutty reverse layup @ Oakland in one of the lost seasons. It's perhaps Kobe's craziest prayer-type shot while being fouled

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFKvoSKiQ_g&t=204s
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Vin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:37 am    Post subject:

What would Kobe say about our playoffs struggle and situation?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:25 pm    Post subject:

Vin wrote:
What would Kobe say about our playoffs struggle and situation?


soft.gif
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:03 am    Post subject:

Read a tweet that said the Lakers lost the series 2-4 in honor of Kobe.
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ViolaMB
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:28 pm    Post subject:

Vin wrote:
What would Kobe say about our playoffs struggle and situation?


Damn sure wouldn't be promoting his movie for kids literally about 15 minutes after an early playoff exit at Staples...
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:50 am    Post subject:

The alley oop turned 21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUZjfThbmY8
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:23 pm    Post subject:

"He is hard to believe!"

"No he's not"

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:22 pm    Post subject:

Man everytime I still see something about Kobe on YouTube or online it still hurts me he went so soon, as did all those he was flying to the game.

Life just doesn’t make sense at times, but Kobe good times or bad times, will never be forgotten. If anything look at the Lakers motivational level last season vs this year. The really had that extra gear from Kobe.

I just still see his picture and go damn man, this dude wasn’t too much older than me.

Greatest Laker ever .
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:24 pm    Post subject:

Oh and I just couldn’t watch his HOF induction. Just not right he’s not there. I’m sure I will one day. But too soon for me, and just not the same. His speech. Phil needed to be there as well cracking jokes about the Kobeangle-Triangle. That’s how it needed to be.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:14 am    Post subject:

2008 summer games @ Beijing

opening ceremony parade of nations

Kobe is shown on the big screen, crowd roars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bufV3EgyPGU&t=12654s
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:46 am    Post subject:

"Ship his ass out!"

And yes, at the time, majority of us agreed with those sentiments. We, along with Kobe, couldn't stand losing to the godforsaken Suns two seasons in a row. We're not the Clippers, we aren't used to losing.

Thankfully, it wasn't long after we got Gasol.

Thank you for always staying loyal to the purple and gold, Mamba.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:18 am    Post subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bumsIF8hbi0&t=1361s

From 21:23 forward...wow.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:42 pm    Post subject:

This is thread that should kept alive indefinetley. Loved and miss the Blackmamba.
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Tomdela07
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:44 pm    Post subject:

GTL wrote:


We're not the Clippers, we aren't used to losing.

Thank you for always staying loyal to the purple and gold, Mamba.

Haha, love this statement, so true
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LakersSamy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:41 am    Post subject: Kobe kobe

I was reading a few of the archive threads about Kobe... kinda shocks me when i see these old threads. A small part of you feels like he is still alive. How one player can effect another human in such a way is mind boggling.

Just sharing a few Kobe quizzes to keep him fresh in our memories.

https://epicwin.online/online-quizzes/kobe-bryant-quiz/

https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/kobe-bryant-black-mamba-quiz-news.21101.html?_amp

https://www.quizzcreator.com/quiz/9356/kobe-bryant-quiz--test-bio-birthday-net-worth-height-family
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:47 am    Post subject:

Tomdela07 wrote:
This is thread that should kept alive indefinetley. Loved and miss the Blackmamba.

It will stay alive for as long as LG is around.
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