Basketball legend Michael Jordan spoke about his “little brother” Kobe Bryant during his public memorial service Monday inside the Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which also honored the life of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Wearing all black with tears in his eyes, Jordan joked during his speech, “Now I have to look at another crying meme…that’s what Kobe Bryant does to me.”
The moment not only caused memes to spread on social media, but also earned thunderous applause inside the stadium dubbed the “house that Kobe built.”
“In life as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank. He left it all on the floor,” Jordan recalled of his friend. “He was like a little brother.”
Jordan noted that the two used to call and text often into the wee hours of the morning “talking about post-up moves, footwork and sometimes the triangle. At first it was an aggravation, but then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know.”
“I took great pride, as I got to know Kobe Bryant, that he was just trying to be a better person,” the former Chicago Bulls basketball star said. “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”
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Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel were also among those who honored Bryant at the podium.
Other celebrities spotted in the stadium, included Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, Steph Curry, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West and many others.