Kyrgios 'Never Listened To Music Again' Before Walking On Court After Kobe Bryant's Death

Kyrgios 'Never Listened To Music Again' Before Walking On Court After Kobe Bryant's Death

by Nurein Ahmed

Nick Kyrgios recently shared the impact that the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant's demise had on his career.

Kyrgios is a massive basketball fan and currently co-owns NBL's South East Melbourne Phoenix. Last year, when he went to watch one of their matches from inside the venue, he called it "the stuff of a movie," underlining his pride in making a sound business investment.

In the past, the mercurial Australian revealed that he considered a career in basketball while growing up but holds no regrets about becoming a tennis pro. Kyrgios has had a career that he can be proud of despite some tough setbacks.

The 28-year-old has battled bouts of depression in the past and was even offered some counseling by former World No. 1 Andy Murray after causing self-harm. He has also contemplated his long-term future in the midst of his current lengthy injury layoff but is determined to return to the circuit.

In his time away from the sport, Kyrgios has found a passion for podcasting and punditry. He hosts the Good Trouble With Nick Kyrgios podcast. In his latest episode, Kyrgios shared the influence that Bryant's death had on his customary pre-match routine of listening to music while walking on the court.

"Usually at the point of my career, I was walking out with headphones, and that day, I had my headphones on but I didn't play any music. So I was walking through the tunnel with Rafa behind me, I walked out and I had the Kobe jersey on and it was all bluff, my headphones were a bluff, I listened to the crowd going nuts."

"That’s one thing that I remember about that day is that I never listened to music again before I walked out because I loved how much Kobe, obviously, had left behind but the crowd was so loud when I walked out and I always wanted to remember hearing how much athletes like us…we are appreciated when we walk out in the stadium."

In January 2020, Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Kyrgios, who was competing at the Australian Open at the time, was scheduled to face Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

The one-time Wimbledon finalist walked onto the court to rapturous applause but was visibly shaken by the news as he fought back the tears. Kyrgios paid tribute to Bryant by donning a Los Angeles Lakers jersey with the American's No. 8 on the back.


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