Jordan at Bryant tribute quips that new crying meme is on its way
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Michael Jordan quipped through tears at Kobe Bryant's memorial service that another crying meme of him is on the way, courtesy of the late basketball star.
"I told my wife I wasn't going to do this because I didn't want to see that for the next three or four years," Jordan told the fans gathered at the Los Angeles Staples Center on Monday for a ceremony honoring the former Los Angeles Laker and his teenage daughter, Gianna Bryant.
Forty one-year-old Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others died last month in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
Saying with a grin that he'd have to "look at another crying meme" for years on end, Jordan said, "But that is what Kobe Bryant does to me."
"Crying Jordan" — an image of the NBA Hall of Famer with tears rolling down his face — became an internet meme years ago.
Calling Bryant a "little brother" to him, Jordan said, "I'm pretty sure [Bryant's wife] Vanessa [Bryant] and his friends all can say the same thing: He knows how to get to you in a way that affects you personally."
"Even though he's being a pain in the ass," Jordan, 57, said with a smile, "you had a sense of love for him, in a way that he can bring out the best in you."
"When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died," Jordan continued.
"I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could," he added.