On January 26 of last year, the basketball community was burdened with one of the biggest tragedies in recent memory. Kobe Bryant, and 13 year old daughter Giana Bryant, along with six others, perished in a helicopter crash in California. Bryant was an all time Los Angeles Lakers great. He led the team to five championships, with countless personal accolades along the way, including an MVP and multiple scoring titles. Bryant was known for his competitive spirit, something he got from the great Michael Jordan. This Saturday completes Bryant’s journey to basketball immortality, as he’ll be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in what is quite possibly the best class of all time. Included in the class are power forwards Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, both champions in their own right. The aforementioned Jordan is set to induct Bryant, and recently this past week Jordan revealed his last texts with the Lakers swing man.

“This tequila is awesome,” wrote Bryant.

Bryant’s text was in reference to Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila, a bottle of which was sent to Bryant at the launch.

“Thank you, my brother,” Jordan responded.

“Yes, sir. Family good?” Kobe replied.

All good. Yours?”

“All good.”

Jordan wanted to talk to Bryant about his daughter’s basketball team—which he was coaching. “He was really into coaching Gigi,” Jordan said, “so I hit him up about that.”

“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan chuckles.

“Ah, back at you, man,” Kobe wrote. “Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.” …

“I just love that text,” Jordan says, “because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature.”

Emotions will almost certainly run high on Saturday, even for someone as stoic and cold natured as Jordan. When asked about the speech, he told ESPN, “I was thinking, at first, I might be a little somewhat nervous about it, but then I realized I’m not going to be nervous about showing emotions for someone I absolutely loved,” “That’s the humanistic side of me—people tend to forget I do have one.”

Bryant will be enshrined on ESPN, at 5:30 PM ET.

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