Michael Jordan is set to induct Kobe Bryant into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday, in what is sure to be an emotional moment.
Jordan was asked by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, to induct Bryant, something he called “a great honor.” Jordan also expressed his initial hesitation before concluding that there was no reason to be nervous showing emotion for someone he cared a great deal about.
Ahead of the ceremony, Jordan spoke with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, where he revealed the final text exchange between him and Bryant.
“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?”
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.”
Jordan had no way of knowing at the time that their brief conversation on December 8, 2019, would be their last.