Michael Jordan Pays Tribute To Kobe Bryant In Emotional Statement
Basketball legend Michael Jordan has paid tribute to fellow NBA legend Kobe Bryant following his sudden death on Sunday afternoon.
Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others yesterday following a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.
Jordan make a statement on Sunday paying tribute to the LA Lakers legend.
"Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me."
"We used to talk often and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force," he continued.
"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.
"Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organisation and basketball fans around the world."
Jordan and Bryant are often regarded as two of the finest athletes the NBA has ever seen and they faced off numerous times in the 90's.
Bryant expressed fondness for the 56-year-old in an interview with Bleacher Report in 2014, likening him to a big brother.
"We hit it off very well. He was really like a big brother, and whether it's because we see things in a similar way in terms of our competitive spirit or fire or whatever the case may be, there's an understanding that we have-a connection that we have.
"I don't know if he opened up with me more than he did with other players, I'm not sure. I don't know if other players had the balls even to ask. But we have a really, really good relationship," he added.
Shaquille O'Neal, who played with Bryant for the Lakers, posted a tribute to his former teammate.
Bryant's death rocked the sporting world and Sunday's NBA games showed the impact will have on the sport.