Over the weekend, viewers became emotional when episode 5 of ESPN’s 10-part docu-series The Last Dance kicked off with a never-before-seen interview of Kobe Bryant gushing about his relationship with Michael Jordan, who he affectionately refers to as his “big brother.”
Sunday evening, the series, which sheds light on what really happened during the final season that Jordan and coach Phil Jackson spent with the Chicago Bulls aired episodes 5 and 6. Despite all the revelations made that evening, the small but poignant tribute to Bryant was a clear standout.
According to Newsweek, Bryant – was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, and he played two seasons against the Bulls championship teams – was interviewed for the documentary last summer.
Producers also note that the footage including him had already been added to the episode well before the tragic helicopter crash on January 26th which lead to the death of him, his daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers.
— ESPN (@espn) May 4, 2020
As theGrio previously reported, Jordan was one go the highlighted speakers at Bryant’s memorial in February. He too spoke on the brotherly bond the two men shared that many fans had no clue about.
“Maybe it surprised people … but we were very close friends,” the notoriously stoic NBA legend said during the tribute, as he let his tears fall down his face. “Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
Jordan then joked that Bryant was like a little brother whose constant questions were sometimes a “nuisance” but ultimately based on love.
“At first, it was an aggravation…But then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know,” he reflected. “He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be,” Jordan continued. “And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”
Michael Jordan’s speech at Kobe’s memorial service remains so sad.
It’s obvious the two had a very
special relationship – almost as if they were brothers. #TheLastDance
— Jared Gaon (@JaredGaon) May 4, 2020
"The Last Dance" episode 5 really reminded me what a great speech Michael Jordan made about Kobe Bryant during Kobe and Gigi's memorial. pic.twitter.com/BZdaYTfHXJ
— Leah Kessel (@leahflame) May 4, 2020
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