Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has tried to downplay his retirement tour and not turn it into a never-ending send-off where he receives random old man gifts like rocking chairs in every NBA city across the country.  Alas, with the Lakers making their only visit to Charlotte to take on the Hornets this year, Kobe and everyone else was treated with a pretty cool surprise – a video tribute from Michael Jordan.

The Hornets owner (and greatest player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers) congratulated his “little brother” on a great career in a video that played before the game.  MJ also brought up the oft-forgotten fact that Kobe was actually drafted by Charlotte and traded almost instantly for Vlade Divac.  Maybe it was a subtle hint that the two of them should come out of retirement and play together in Charlotte!

Bryant’s career has been linked to Jordan’s almost since the beginning.  And although Kobe hasn’t quite matched MJ’s numbers or his legacy, he came a lot closer than anyone else has in the NBA while blazing his own path.

As for the game that followed, Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points, but Los Angeles fell to Charlotte 108-98.

Video H/T CBS Sports

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.