Jordan tribute was 'awesome' for Bryant


Kobe Bryant was honoured to receive a personal message from NBA icon Michael Jordan ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers' encounter with the Charlotte Hornets.

The 37-year-old announced his intention to retire at the end of the season and has received a pre-recorded farewell from Jordan - six-time NBA champion, five-time MVP and principal owner of the Hornets - which was played on the Time Warner Cable Arena's big screens.

Bryant was selected by the Charlotte-based club in the1996 NBA draft and, although he knew about the video beforehand, he was delighted with the reception and the reaction from the fans.

"I heard a little bit in advance, I spoke to him [on Sunday]," he said.

"It was awesome. And it was funny to see some people's reactions to it."

The shooting guard has been warmly received in numerous road trips since announcing his retirement plans, but admitted it was more of a special occasion in Charlotte.

"It has been like that in every game fortunately. My journey started here, so that had more value to it," Bryant continued.

"I just want to continue to learn, and help them out as much as I can and be around it for as much as I can.

"It's really just about loving the game. Being obsessed with it, it's every little detail.

"When you are obsessed with something, you leave yourself open to be hurt by it. But when you give yourself up to that and get results it's great."

Despite Bryant scoring 20 points, the Lakers suffered a disappointing 108-98 loss to the Hornets - Kemba Walkers tallying 38 points.