Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Entire Tennis Community Pay Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Published 01/26/2021, 11:58 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Laker Kobe Bryant #24 as the Lakers beat the Jazz 107-96 to win the series during game five of a first round Western Conference playoff basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Monday April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)


Today is one of the toughest days in the world of sport, as this time last year, the basketball great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident. But his legacy will continue forever, and Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, and other tennis players paid their tribute to him.

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The LA Laker’s shooting guard and 5-time NBA champion, Kobe, was and will always be regarded as one of the greatest athletes. But more than that, his spirit of sportsmanship and his compassionate heart are what most people remember him for.

Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, pay tribute to Kobe Bryant

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia cries while talking about the death of Kobe Bryant after winning his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams shared Kobe’s iconic quote on Instagram. Along with it, she also uploaded a beautiful portrait of the father and her daughter. She said, “Your legacy continues to inspire. We remember this always.”

Even though the ‘Black Mamba’ was a basketball player, he touched lives throughout the globe. Kobe also had great connections with the tennis fraternity, he often attended tennis matches too.

One of his good friends, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, also shared a picture with him on Instagram. Novak had even broken down in front of the Australian crowd last year on hearing the news. Remembering him today, Djokovic wrote, “Forever Mamba. I love you, my friend.”

For the Japanese best and World No. 3 Naomi Osaka, Kobe had been a constant drive of inspiration. She has promised to deliver on his belief in her. Today, she shared an emotional letter that one of Gianna’s best friend wrote to Kobe.

Nick Kyrgios, Victoria Azarenka, Serena’s coach, and others celebrate Kobe

During the National Anthem Lakers Kobe Bryant points to upward honoring Lakers owner Jerry Buss at the Staples Center Wednesday. Dr. Jerry Buss, died Monday of cancer at age 80. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Australian-born Nick Kyrgios is a basketball fan at heart, and that heart wholly belonged to the legend of the sport, Kobe Bryant. In an attempt to repaint the American’s efficacy, Nick shared an illustrated picture of Kobe in a leap for a dunk with a halo over his head.

The former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Swiss player Belinda Bencic, American’s Frances Tiafoe, also showed their love for the basketball hero. The Belarusian uploaded a picture of Kobe and Gianna playing ball.

The young and upcoming American star, Tiafoe, shared a picture of Kobe and wrote, “Inspiration to all of us.”

The Ukrainian World No. 5 Elina Svitolina is also a forever fan of the Laker’s #24. Usually cheerful, the 26-year-old sent out teary eyes today.

Even Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams, wrote a brief message on Instagram. He even uploaded a father-daughter moment from Kobe and Gianna’s life, along with a picture of himself with the great. He wrote, “He was one of the greatest athletes of his time – one of the greatest to ever do it.”

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Kobe Bryant was a true athlete and a great friend. His great success and ideology have a permanent home in the heart of every sport’s fan.

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WATCH: When Kobe Bryant Picked Novak Djokovic Over Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

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Purav Joshi

1131 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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