Prior to playing his final game in Charlotte against the Hornets, it comes as no surprise that Kobe Bryant would be acknowledged by Hornets owner and fellow legend Michael Jordan. However, Jordan gave a heartfelt speech to Bryant full of nothing but respect for his fellow competitor.
Prior to tip-off, Jordan's speech was aired on the jumbotron in The Time Warner Cable Arena. Reflecting on Bryant's career a bit, Jordan alluded to "The Black Mamba's" very, very brief tenure with the Hornets in which he was drafted 13th overall before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would remain for his entire career.
Although, Bryant openly states that the Hornets "never wanted me," MJ couldn't help but point out the slight tie Bryant had to the franchise. He maintained that this "connects us to you" adding in his own personal notes, "I've always been like a big brother and you like a little brother," he said. "I'm a big fan, I still love watching you play," he added, overly complimentary of the man who most resembled him. It remains a touching tribute to two players who were more alike than they probably cared to admit.