LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant hasn't been short of congratulating messages ever since he announced that he will be retiring from the NBA at the end of the season. Michael Jordan is the next star to join that list.
The former Chicago Bulls icon sent his message in an under-two-minute video prior to the Lakers' recent away game at the Charlotte Hornets.
He spoke about how Bryant is like a littler brother to him, how much he has helped change the NBA, and that he still loves to watch him play, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
He said: "Kobe, MJ. I'm sorry I couldn't be there tonight, I just want to congratulate you on an unbelievable career. I think, when I look back, and the first time we actually played against each other, and the competitive drive that I saw within your eyes ... is very invigorating. And I'm very happy to leave you this message to say how much we are very proud of what you've accomplished over the years.
"Most people don't realize you were drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, so that connects us with you. I've always been like a big brother to you, [and you're] like a little brother. We communicate all the time. I just want to say congratulations. Your next step in your next career is going to be something that I'm pretty sure you're going to have to figure out. From a competitive standpoint, I'm pretty sure you're just like me. You're going to have to find other ways to utilize that competitive drive.
Article continues below
"But I want to congratulate you and Vanessa and the girls. You've been a big help to the game of basketball. You've helped the NBA. You've helped promote it. I'm pretty sure you've got a lot of fans all over the world. I am a big fan. I still love watching you play. I'm very, very happy for you and what you've accomplished within the game. And I look forward to seeing what you do next.
"If you ever need me, you know my number. Let's stay in touch. I wish you the best, and have a great game tonight -- not too good of a game. But I want you to stay healthy. As I said a couple weeks ago, this is your last year. Just have fun. Take it a day at a time. Enjoy it. And I look forward to seeing what you do after this. Take care. Good luck."
Bryant knew the video was coming, and he revealed his reaction to it after the game. He said: "It was awesome. It was awesome. He and I -- as he said in the video -- we talk pretty often. But it was pretty funny to see some of the reactions of my teammates. I was sitting next to Julius Randle before the game. He was like, 'Yo, that's amazing!' I was like, 'What?' [He said] 'That was Michael Jordan!'"
The Lakers lost the game 108-98 with Bryant only scoring 20 points on 5-of-20 shooting, but no poor performances or losses will have any reflection on his career during his retirement tour as he will bow out of the NBA as one of the best players the league has ever seen.