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Michael Jordan’s full statement on “little brother” Kobe Bryant’s death

Michael Jordan is heartbroken over the news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s demise.

Not long after it was confirmed that 41-year-old Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna met their ends in a fatal helicopter crash with seven others, Jordan made a statement about the devastating news. It was released by his manager Estee Portnoy on her official Twitter account.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” read the NBA superstar’s statement. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling.”

Jordan also reminisced on his own personal bond with the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. He remembered Kobe with love as a “little brother.”

“We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much,” he revealed.

Kobe — who was known to be an avid fan of Jordan’s prior to his trailblazing career — modeled his game after Jordan. With his own twist of extreme discipline and professionalism, the former Lakers shooting guard made a name for himself as one of NBA’s all-time greats.

Back in 2015, he appeared in an interview on Good Morning America. When asked who would win in a one-on-one game with Jordan, Kobe quipped, “Oh, he would win some. I would win some.”

Kobe and Michael are often compared to another NBA superstar, LeBron James. Currently dominating the landscape of the NBA, LeBron passed Kobe’s rank in scoring just a day after his demise made headlines. LeBron was seen in footage breaking down as he arrived in Los Angeles upon finding out about Kobe’s death.