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Michael Jordan Reveals The Last Conversation He Had With Kobe Bryant

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Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had a great relationship. MJ knew before anybody else that Kobe was going to be a problem in the league. So he offered his help to the young Los Angeles Lakers player in his second season in the NBA. 

That first conversation turned into a big friendship that saw Kobe evolved and become the best player in the league, win multiple champions while leading one of the best teams the NBA has ever seen. 

Now that Kobe is sadly gone, MJ only has memories from his friend. Fortunately, they are very good ones. His Airness will try to express how important Bryant was for him this next Saturday in the 2021 Hall of Fame ceremony. 

Talking with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, the Charlotte Hornets owner revealed how he prepares for the big day. 

"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."

Jordan had the chance to talk several moments of his friendship with Kobe, including their last conversation, when they teased each other. 

"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."

The things these two did on the court were identical. Kobe always tried to emulate Jordan, his style of play, and even tried to tie him in titles. Sadly, that never happened, and the Black Mamba retired as a 5-time NBA champion. 

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

NBA fans expect a very emotional ceremony this Saturday when MJ will have the chance to give the ultimate homage to Kobe.