Djokovic wore a T-shirt with a printed image of him alongside the former Los Angeles Lakers Forward Guard.
The number “24,” Kobe’s jersey number, was printed on the back of the T-shirt.
During his playing days, they nicknamed the ferociously competitive basketball player “Mamba” in reference to a highly venomous snake.
Djokovic stated that Kobe Bryant helped him during threatening times in his career, especially in 2017 when he had the scare of a career-ending elbow injury.
“When I was struggling with injury and trying to work my way back to the top he was one of the people I relied on the most he was always there for support in the friendliest way.”
This however is not the first time Djokovic remembers his friend, in 2020 after winning the Australia Open.
Djokovic said that the death of Kobe Bryant was an important message of appreciation for life and family.
“Of course, we are part of professional sport, we compete, we try our best.
“But obviously there are more important things in life and it’s important to be conscious and humble about things that are happening around you.” Said Djokovic
Kobe Bryant died in 2020 January 26 in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter 13 year old daughter Gianna Bryant.
The two were on their way to a youth basketball game, and all the nine occupants of the helicopter died.
Djokovic when asked about the T-shirt said:
“I thought about doing this t-shirt a few days ago,
“I didn’t share it with anybody. Kobe was a close friend of mine, we chatted a lot, about the winner’s mentality.
“His passing hurt me deeply and 24 is the jersey he wore at Lakers so I thought it would be nice to acknowledge him.”