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Novak Djokovic pays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant during the US Open trophy ceremony.

Djokovic Pays Tribute To Kobe Bryant After Winning 24th Grand Slam Title

Serbian reflects on his late friend's impact on his mentality

Novak Djokovic paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant after securing his 24th major title.

After shaking hands with his opponent, Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic put on a shirt that read ‘Mamba Forever’, with a photo of Djokovic and Bryant.

“I thought of doing this T-shirt eventually if I got the chance to win the tournament. It was about seven days ago. I didn't share it with anyone until a few days ago when I asked my people to help me out to make this shirt,” Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony. “Kobe was a close, close friend. We chatted a lot about the winner's mentality when I was struggling with an injury and trying to make my comeback, work my way back to the top of the game."

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Djokovic, who has often spoken about the impact Bryant had on him, explained that the late Los Angeles Laker star was one of the people he relied on the most.

“He was always there for any kind of counsel advice, any kind of support in the most friendly way,” Djokovic said. “So, of course, what happened a few years ago, him and his daughter passing, hurt me deeply and I thought 24 is the jersey that he wore when he became a legend of the Lakers and world basketball. So I thought it could be a nice symbolic thing to to acknowledge him.”

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