On Monday, the world mourned as a memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles. But the tears, tributes and honors paused for a brief moment when another basketball icon delivered some laughs to the more than 20,000 in attendance.
As Michael Jordan took the podium to discuss Bryant — someone he viewed as a younger brother — Jordan broke down into tears. The NBA legend didn’t use the moment to mourn further, but rather as a way to bring a bit of levity to the service.
“I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this because I didn’t want to see that [crying meme] for the next 3 or 4 years.”
He stopped, as the crowd erupted in applause and laughter at his acknowledgment of the meme.
“That is what Kobe Bryant does to me,” he said.
Jordan, of course, is referencing the viral “Crying Jordan” meme, which was originally conceived after Jordan was moved to tears during his Pro Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2009.
The image of Jordan’s crying face from that night has been edited on the faces of people all over the internet for the better part of the last decade.
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