By the time Michael Jordan was nearing the end of his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers had drafted Kobe Bryant. While the two NBA legends played only eight regular-season games against each other, they developed a close relationship over the years. Jordan was among the few people who spoke at the Kobe Bryant memorial service in February and considered the Los Angeles Lakers legend 'his brother'. Bryant was also interviewed for Jordan's The Last Dance, which he finished filming for a week before his tragic death in January.
As Jordan spoke about during Kobe Bryant's memorial at the Staples Center, their friendship began when Bryant started 'pestering' the Bulls legend. In a recent interview, Jordan and Bryant's personal trainer Tim Grover revealed that though Jordan was always the last person to leave the locker room, Bryant would always wait for him. The five-time NBA champion would ask the bus to wait as he didn't know when he would get the opportunity again.
While Jordan used to think that Bryant was annoying initially, he gradually started to respect his passion and willpower. Grover added that many athletes came up to Jordan to seek guidance, but only Bryant was able to maintain the required amount of intensity. Grover revealed that when Jordan gave Bryant his phone number, he knew the Lakers star was special. He thinks one has to earn the right to converse with Jordan.
While delivering his eulogy, Jordan revealed that Bryant used to call him at midnight and later. Jordan then told Bryant about the triangle offence after Phil Jackson asked him to. When Jordan joined the Washington Wizards, he would visit Bryant and Jackson in the locker rooms after games.
Though Bryant was still Jordan's little brother, they both started discussing things beyond shooting techniques. As per reports, Bryant sought Jordan's advice during retirement, not knowing what he would do after the NBA. Bryant even allowed a crew to accompany him during his final season after he learnt Jordan had done so.
In his eulogy for Bryant, Jordan said that he admired Kobe Bryant. He loved his passion as one rarely sees someone who wants to improve every single day in every aspect of their lives. He revealed feeling inspired by Bryant's accomplishments, both on and off the court.