NBA legend Michael Jordan managed to add some comic relief to his speech at the memorial ceremony for friend and fellow basketball great, Kobe Bryant, quipping that the loss of Bryant turned him back into his famous crying meme.
The 57-year-old spoke at the Staples Center service on Monday, sharing with the crowd some tender moments of friendship with Bryant, who tragically died last month in a helicopter crash.
As he spoke, tears poured down Jordan’s face.
“Now he got me, I’m gonna have to look at another crying meme,” he said to the crowd. “I told my wife I wasn’t gonna do this ’cause I don’t want to look at this for the next three or four years.”
Jordan’s tear-strewn face has been in the internet culture canon since the early 2010s after images from a speech he gave during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction in Springfield, Massachusetts, ran rampant on meme sites, Tumblr and beyond.
After his quip, the internet celebrated Jordan’s moment of levity and acknowledgment of the meme: