Novak Djokovic Kobe Bryant

After winning his 17th Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic paid tribute to the late LA Lakers and NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant.

“There were some devastating things that started 2020 with huge bushfires here in Australia, conflicts in some parts of the world, people dying every day.

Obviously one person that I considered close in my life and was a mentor to me, Kobe Bryant, passed away as well with his daughter. I would just like to say that this is a reminder to all of us that we should stick together more than ever.

Be with our families, stay close with the people that love you, that care about you. Of course we are part of a professional sport, we compete and we try our best, but obviously there are more important things in life and it’s important to be conscious and humble about things that are happening around you,” Djokovic said in his on-court speech after his victory.

Djokovic made history on Sunday in Melbourne, extending his record to eight Australian Open titles and earning his way back to the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.