The ‘Black Mamba’ – Kobe Bryant, is known as the Michael Jordan of today. Both players had a chance to go up against each other and furthermore in their careers, when Jordan retired and Bryant went on to carry the NBA on his shoulders – the two basketball icons had a teacher-mentor relationship.
As Kobe Bryant announced that he is going to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 season – Jordan prepared a message to his protege upon Bryant’s return for his final game in Charlotte (the team that drafted him in 2016).
Here is the transcript of Jordan’s message to Bryant:
“I just want to congratulate you on an unbelievable career. When I look back at the first time we actually played each other, and the competitive drive that I saw within your eyes — even though the knowledge wasn’t quite there yet — it’s very invigorating. 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, and you 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, so you’re going to have to find other ways to utilize that competitive drive.”
“But I want to congratulate you and Vanessa and the girls. You’ve been a big help to the game of basketball. You helped the NBA. You helped promote it. I’m pretty sure you’ve got a lot of fans all over the world. I’m a big fan. I still love watching you play. I’m very, very happy for you and what you’ve accomplished within the game. 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. 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. I look forward to seeing what you do after this.”