Michael Jordan Pays Tribute to "Little Brother" Kobe Bryant in Farewell Video

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Like many teams have done in arenas Kobe Bryant is visiting for the final time before retiring, the Charlotte Hornets aired a video tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers icon before the game Monday.

But the Hornets' tribute video was different. Instead of showing highlights from Bryant's 20-season career, the team showed a nearly 1-minute, 40-second video message from Michael Jordan, the Hornets' chairman and the player to whom Bryant has long been compared.

"I'm a big fan," said Jordan, who was not in attendance Monday night at The Time Warner Cable Arena. "I still love watching you play."

In the video, Jordan also calls Bryant a "big help to the game of basketball," and refers to him as a little brother.

Back on June 26, 1996, the Charlotte Hornets selected Kobe Bryant with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. But later, Kobe was shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran center Vlade Divac.

Ultimately, the trade proved to be a game-changer for the Lakers. Los Angeles won 5 NBA titles with Kobe leading the way. Charlotte, however, continued to struggle and never really recovered from perhaps the biggest mistake in franchise history by trading Bryant.

Kobe Bryant will retire at the end of the season.

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