Djokovic Confesses That He Considered 'Leaving Tennis' But Kobe Bryant Helped Him

Djokovic Confesses That He Considered 'Leaving Tennis' But Kobe Bryant Helped Him

by Zachary Wimer

One of the toughest times in Novak Djokovic's career was his infamous elbow injury and one late friend helped him during that time.

As one of the best athletes in recent memory, Novak Djokovic connected with many fellow athletes to share experiences and learn something new. He's often discussed some of his sports friendships, including Tom Brady and the late Kobe Bryant.

Bryant is one of the best basketball players ever, and he was notorious for his dedication to his craft. It's something Djokovic could relate to very well, and they talked often about how to get an edge on their competition.

Unlike Djokovic, who mostly avoided injuries successfully, Bryant dealt with a few and had plenty of experience in dealing with it.

He used that to help Djokovic during the darkest time in his career when his elbow bothered him. It was back in 2017, and it's when Bryant talked him out of abandoning tennis, which he was considering seriously.

Kobe always helped me when I needed it the most. When I had elbow surgery, mentally I was not well. I even considered leaving tennis. He encouraged me, shared his experience, gave advice.

Djokovic even paid tribute to Bryant after winning the most recent US Open, wearing a shirt showing them together. He talked about that during the trophy ceremony, admitting that not a lot of people knew he was planning it.

It was a nice way to pay tribute to his late friend, who wore number 24 for much of his career, and the US Open was Djokovic's 24th Grand Slam.

Mamba, yeah… I thought of doing this t-shirt eventually if I get a chance to win the tournament, it was about seven days ago. I didn't share it with anyone upto few days ago when I asked my people to help me out to make these shirts.

Djokovic after winning the US Open


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