Lakers News: Novak Djokovic Pays Tribute To Kobe Bryant After Winning 24th Grand Slam Tournament
Novak Djokovic, Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was an inspiration to many around the world. His Mamba Mentality is something that many embraced on their way to accomplishing great things and one of the biggest stars who continues to do exactly that is tennis superstar Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has spoken openly about what Bryant meant to him and how he is taken on that Mamba Mentality, most recently mentioning it after winning the French Open earlier this year. And Djokovic has done it again, winning the US Open and raising his record number of Grand Slam tournaments won to 24.

This number was not lost on the Serbian star who, after taking down Daniil Medvedev in the US Open Final, paid tribute to the Lakers legend by bringing out a custom-made ‘Mamba Forever’ shirt with the number 24 on the back, via US Open Tennis:

Of course Djokovic was asked about the shirt and revealed it was something he thought of a while ago before going into the relationship between himself and Kobe and how the Lakers legend really helped him when he was dealing with injuries earlier in his career, via US Open Tennis:

“I thought of doing this t-shirt eventually if I get the chance to win this tournament. It was about seven days ago, I didn’t share it with anyone up until a few days ago when I asked my people to help me out to make these shirts. Kobe was a close friend, we chatted a lot about the winner’s mentality.

“When I was struggling with the injury and trying to make my comeback and work my way back to the top of the game, he was one of the people that I rely on the most. He was always there for any kind of counsel, advice, any kind of support in a most friendly way. So of course what happened a few years ago and him and his daughter passing hurt me deeply and I thought, 24 is the jersey he wore when he became a legend of the Lakers and world basketball. So I thought it could be a nice, symbolic thing to acknowledge him for all the things he’s done.”

Because he learned so much from so many others as he was coming up, Kobe Bryant was always generous with information and loved to help anyone who came to him. While most focus on other basketball players, Djokovic is arguably the greatest male tennis player of all-time and he credits Kobe with being a friend and helping him in his time of need.

The gesture was a beautiful one and continues to show why the Lakers legend is so beloved by so many across the world as he truly was an inspiration to so many.

Robert Horry suggests ‘two-face’ statue to honor Lakers legend Kobe Bryant

Soon enough, there will be another honor for Bryant as the Lakers will unveil a statue honoring the late, great franchise legend. What that statue will look like is unclear, but his former teammate Robert Horry suggested a two-face style statue paying homage to both halves of his legendary career.

Horry believes half could pay tribute to the younger Kobe that wore No. 8 while the other half would pay homage to the older Kobe who wore 24. While it likely won’t happen, it would be a unique way to honor the Lakers legend.

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