Michael Jordan Issues Statement on Kobe Bryant: 'He Was Like a Little Brother'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2020

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 17:  (L-R) Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers pose for a portrait on All-Star Saturday Night during the NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE  (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

NBA legend and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, released a statement Sunday following the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash:

Los Angeles officials held a news conference offering further details on the crash, though they didn't confirm the identities of any of the victims:

NBA and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson also shared his thoughts on Bryant's death and the life that he lived:

A number of former and current NBA players, including several of Bryant's teammates, also expressed their grief and disbelief regarding his death:

Jordan and Bryant will always be linked in basketball history. When Bryant entered the league in 1996, he was seen as the heir apparent to Jordan, and much of his game and style mirrored that of the Chicago Bulls legend. Like Jordan, Bryant became a legend himself, with a resume that speaks for itself:

  • 18-time All-Star
  • Five-time champion
  • 2007-08 NBA MVP
  • Two-time Finals MVP
  • 11-time All-NBA First Team selection
  • Two-time scoring champ

That resume put Bryant in the conversation for best player ever, along with the likes of Jordan, LeBron James and others. It's been a fun debate for NBA fans, but on Saturday, Allen Iverson offered the best-possible perspective on that conversation.

"It's hard when you try to compare [LeBron] and Mike and Kobe together," Iverson said after James passed Bryant for third all-time in scoring, per Michael Lee of The Athletic. "All of them are just great. All of them had different talents. That's why it's always a coin flip for me, when it comes to those guys. I'll take any of them, if I had a chance to."