‘He Was Like a Little Brother to Me’: Michael Jordan Reacts to News of Kobe Bryant’s Death


Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan talk during a game at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 17, 1997. (Credit: Vincent Laforet/AFP via Getty Images)

NBA legend Michael Jordan said he was “in shock” after hearing of the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a the helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday.

“Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe— he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said in a written statement.

Jordan called Bryant a “fierce competitor” and “one of the greats of the game.”

He praised Bryant’s love for his family and his support of his daughter.

“Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply— and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” the statement read.

Bryant’s legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan’s six. Bryant passed Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list before LeBron James took his third place spot Saturday night.

Jordan is one of several notable former and current NBA stars to mourn Bryant Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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