NEW YORK — Novak Djokovic couldn’t take into consideration No. 24 with out considering of Kobe Bryant.
So after profitable the U.S. Open on Sunday night time for a historic twenty fourth Grand Slam title, Djokovic placed on a blue T-shirt that honored the Los Angeles Lakers nice.
The shirt learn “Mamba Ceaselessly” on the entrance, together with photos of Bryant and Djokovic. On the again in purple was the No. 24, one in all two numbers Bryant wore throughout his Corridor of Fame profession.
Djokovic stated he got here up with the concept a few week in the past as a strategy to honor his pal. He stated he obtained recommendation on his personal profession from Bryant, who died in 2020 in a helicopter crash that additionally killed his daughter, Gianna, and 7 others.
“Kobe was an in depth pal, we chatted lots concerning the winner’s mentality once I was fighting damage and attempting to make my comeback, work my approach again to the highest of the sport,” Djokovic stated. “He was one of many folks that I relied on essentially the most.”
“He was all the time there for any sort of counsel, recommendation, any sort of assist in essentially the most pleasant approach,” Djokovic continued. “So in fact what occurred just a few years in the past and him and his daughter passing damage me deeply, and I believed 24 is the jersey he wore when he turned a legend of the Lakers and world basketball, so I believed it may very well be a pleasant, symbolic factor to acknowledge him for all of the issues he’s executed.”