Novak Djokovic Honors Kobe Bryant in Heartfelt Speech After US Open Win
After a thrilling victory against Daniil Medvedev in the Men’s US Open title match on September 10th, Novak Djokovic paid tribute to the late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, in a heartfelt speech. The tennis champion unveiled a T-shirt featuring a photo of himself alongside Bryant, bearing the words “Mamba Forever” across the chest.
Djokovic revealed that he had been planning to wear the shirt for quite some time. “I thought of doing this T-shirt eventually, if I get the chance to win the tournament, about seven days ago,” Djokovic shared. “I didn’t share it with anyone until a few days ago when I asked my people to help me out to make this shirt. Kobe was a close friend, we chatted a lot about the winner’s mentality.”
The Serbian tennis player also wore a zip-up with a 24 patch stitched on, another nod to Bryant who famously wore number 24 during his illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Djokovic went on to explain how Bryant had been a guiding presence throughout his own career.
“When I was struggling with an injury and trying to make my comeback, work my way back to the top of the game, he was one of the people I relied on the most,” Djokovic said. “He was always there for any kind of counsel, advice, any kind of support in the most friendly way.”
Novak Djokovic’s tribute to Kobe Bryant showcases the impact the basketball legend had on athletes from various sports, even extending beyond national borders. The Mamba mentality, Kobe Bryant’s approach to life and competition, continues to inspire and influence athletes worldwide, including Djokovic.
As tennis fans applaud Djokovic’s incredible performance at the US Open, his heartfelt tribute to Bryant resonates deeply. It serves as a reminder of the profound impact Bryant had on the sporting world and how his memory lives on in the hearts of athletes across different disciplines.