In the wake of his tragic death, a fan of Kobe Bryant has shared a throwback video of the late NBA star talking about the impact that fellow basketball great Michael Jordan had on him. In the clip posted to Twitter, Bryant is seen in a stage talk setting, and when asked about Jordan he replied, "I studied Michael growing up, and he's like a big brother to me." He also joked that when he first got into the NBA he was told by other players that "they called [Jordan] 'Black Jesus.'"
RIP to this absolute legend @kobebryant I found this video on my phone and completely forgot I have it but this was such an incredible story to hear first hand and impactful even at the time. He truly was one of the greatest that ever lived and it is so sad how he was taken #kobe pic.twitter.com/gPq9Fq7hdC— Erik Huberman (@ErikHuberman) February 7, 2020
Bryant then went on to tell a story about getting matched up against Jordan, and before hand a teammate told him that when he defended against the sports icon, "Don't look at him in the eye," but Bryant did, causing Jordan to think he was "crazy." He later added that the two joked about it afterwards.
Sadly, Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other individuals.
Following the news of Bryant's death, Jordan spoke out about his former colleague, saying, "He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.
"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," he added, per Market Watch. "Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world."
Many others have been taking to social media to mourn the death of Bryant, with one Twitter user writing, "Mamba Legend is gone forever. May god rest your soul and your daughter's in peace, and to those who lost their lives."
To pay tribute to a man that did so much for the city of Los Angeles, not only on the basketball court, but off the court as well. While we reflect upon the joy he brought to so many, we are saddened knowing how much more he had yet to give. #KobeBryant #KobeRIP #KobeForever #la pic.twitter.com/U0uKzRPfLH— Mercedes-Benz of Los Angeles (@DTLAMotorsMB) February 2, 2020
The crash that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter, the pilot, and the other passengers, has since been ruled an accident.