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Emotional Michael Jordan Gives Powerful Eulogy, Jokes About Crying Jordan Meme at Kobe Bryant Memorial

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An emotional Michael Jordan honored Kobe Bryant during Monday's memorial for the late Lakers legend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Jordan joked how he found Bryant annoying for regularly calling him early in his career to talk about basketball. However, their conversations sparked Jordan to become like a brother to him.

"At first, it was an aggravation. Then it became a passion," Jordan said of Bryant's many questions about the sport. "As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother I could be."

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During his speech, the former Bulls star started tearing up and poked fun at himself by referencing the infamous crying Jordan meme.

"Now he's got me. I'm going to have to look at another crying meme," Jordan said, drawing lots of laughs from the crowd. "That is what Kobe Bryant does to me."

Bryant and Jordan faced each other eight times during their NBA careers. On March 28, 2003, Bryant put up 55 points against His Airness and the Wizards during the Lakers' 108–94 win. Jordan, who had just turned 40, would go on to retire at the end of the 2003 season.

Jordan had a hard time holding back tears throughout his speech, where he shared several stories from his friendship with Bryant. He closed his speech with a heartfelt tribute to his late friend.

"When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died," he said. "Please, rest in peace, little brother."