Today, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant are being honored after being involved in a fatal helicopter crash on January 26th. Other NBA legends, including Michael Jordan, gather in the Staples Center to remember the late NBA star.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died,” Jordan stated. Jordan recalls the big/little brother relationship between the two before Bryant’s passing. In tears, Jordan recalls wanting to be the best big brother to Bryant as he could be.

“Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother, everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons, between he and I.. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”

Michael Jordan

As the camera pans to a grieving audience, Jordan adds laughter to the room by referring to his 2009 “Crying Jordan” meme. “Now he’s got me, I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next..” he pauses as the audience quickly laughs at the memory. “I told my wife I wasn’t gonna do this. Cause I didn’t wanna see that for the next three or four years,” Jordan finishes.

Tearfully, Jordan concludes,  “Please rest in peace little brother.”

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Michael Jordan retired from the NBA in 2003, he was 33 years old at the time. Today, Jordan enjoys being creative with his sneaker line, giving back as a coach, and being the best dad and husband to his family.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragedy.