Djokovic Paid Tribute to Kobe Bryant
Novak Djokovic during the 2023 US Open Men Finals | Photo by Darren Carroll/USTA

Novak Djokovic has set a new record, becoming the first male player to win 24 Grand Slam titles. He was in tears after he defeated Daniil Medvedev at the US Open and afterward, he pulled on a T-shirt that paid tribute to the late NBA superstar – Kobe Bryant.

The Serb later revealed that he and Kobe were close friends.

“I thought about doing this t-shirt a few days ago,” Djokovic explained.

“I didn’t share it with anybody. Kobe was a close friend of mine, we chatted a lot, about the winner’s mentality.”

“When I was struggling with an injury and working my way back. He was one of the people I relied on the most.”

“What happened a few years ago, him and his daughter passing, hurt me deeply,” the tennis star added.

“I thought 24 — it is the jersey he wore when he became a legend, of Lakers and world basketball, so I thought it could be a nice, symbolic thing to acknowledge him for all the things he has done.”

He added, “What he’s done, not just on the basketball court, his resilience, fighting spirit, it lives on forever, I felt it today.”

He also later explained how he felt about winning his 24th Grand Slam title, which puts him equal to Margaret Court’s record.

“I don’t know where to start, it means the world to me [to win 24 titles], I’m living my childhood dream,” Djokovic added.

He correlated his 24th win with Bryant’s jersey number.

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer
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