);
NBA

Statement from Michael Jordan on the passing of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in 1998
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in 1998 (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan was among many to express their sadness on Sunday following the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. He released the following statement:

"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. 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 fiere competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved is 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 organization and basketball fans around the world."

MORE: NBA players react to death of Kobe Bryant

For many, Jordan is the greatest player of all-time.

For many, Bryant is the closest thing to Jordan we have ever or will ever see.

Every aspect of Bryant's game seemed eerily reminiscent of the Chicago Bulls legend. The shot making, the swagger, the competitive fire, the defence, the trash talking, the tongue, the footwork, the fadeaways, the rings... everything.

When Bryant was voted into the 1998 All-Star Game as a 19-year-old who didn't even yet start on the Lakers, he did so because of a widespread popularity surpassed by only Jordan himself. And who did that 19-year-old seek out on the floor at Madison Square Garden of all places? Who else... Jordan.

When Bryant and Jordan played for the final time in March 2003, it was Bryant who erupted for a double-nickel of his own, scoring 55 points in a win over Jordan's Wizards.

For years and even while he was still playing with the Bulls, many wondered if we'd ever see another Michael Jordan.

And then came Kobe Bryant.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

HeadtoHead_NBAArticleHeader_1920x1080.jpg
Head-to-Head, Week 2: Breaking down each matchup
Kyle Irving
mitchell-power-rankings-ftr.jpeg
Clippers, Jazz climbing fast riding win streaks
Kyle Irving
Fred/Myles
Three things to watch in Raptors-Pacers rematch
Carlan Gay
When are the stars playing?
2020-21 Canadian TV broadcast schedule
NBA.com Staff
#ViewingplanFTR
Optimal viewing plan for 10-game slate
Yash Matange
bjorkgren-pacers-ftr.jpeg
Former Raptors coach Bjorkgren thriving as head coach in Indiana
Kyle Irving
More News