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Watch: When Naomi Osaka Hit with Kobe Bryant


Naomi Osaka paid tribute to the man she called her "big bro", late L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant, sharing video of the pair playing tennis together.

The 41-year-old Lakers legend was among nine people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California last month.

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Family, friends and fans packed a ceremony honoring Bryant in Los Angeles on Monday.

Osaka tweeted this tribute to Bryant, who was a big tennis fan and avid recreational player.

“He wasn’t THAT bad at tennis,” Osaka joked in the tweet punctuated with a series of emojis. “Haha love you bro.”




An 18-time NBA all-star, Bryant was widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history.

Bryant was more than a global sports icon, he was a philanthropist and a mentor to many athletes in several different sports, including Novak Djokovic.

Last month, the eight-time Australian Open champion called Bryant his "mentor" and credited his insight and wisdom with helping the Serbian return from injury and surgery earlier in his career.

"When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back, Djokovic told ESPN of Bryant's influence. "I’m very grateful to him for being there for me, for being very supportive. I love Kobe, who doesn’t?

"He’s an amazing guy and one of the best basketball players and athletes of all time."

Photo credit: BEmag Facebook

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