Nick Kyrgios has shown off a classy tattoo tribute to his idol Kobe Bryant as part of a wild new sleeve tattoo.
Kyrgios revealed his new ink in a series of video teasers on Instagram on Monday where the 24-year-old proudly flaunted his emotional tribute to the NBA legend, who died during the 2020 Australian Open in an tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of the Lakers superstar and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The world No. 40 broke down in tears as he walked onto court wearing Bryant’s iconic No. 8 Lakers singlet ahead of his fourth round blockbuster with Rafael Nadal on Rod Laver Arena in January.
He revealed at the time how the emotion of Bryant’s death overwhelmed him before the match with Nadal where he used Bryant’s “Mamba” legacy as motivation to squeeze everything out of himself on the court against the Spanish champion that night.
His latest tattoo reveals there was nothing fake in the raw emotion Kyrgios displayed in January when discussing his grief at the star guard’s death.
Nick Kyrgios did the whole warm up in the singlet.Source:AFP
Kyrgios has told his Instagram followers he had the inc completed with tattoo artist Dave Chavez before he entered into self isolation in Canberra.
The colourless artwork features life-like caricatures of Bryant and Lakers superstar LeBron James — as well as tributes to Michael Jordan.
“Kobe and the king with me forever & some Jordan 1’s,” Kyrgios described his new inc in an Instagram caption.
“When I saw the image, I realised it was that. I wanted to tattoo something from Kobe after everything that happened,” he said in one of the videos posted to his Instagram account.
“I wore his shirt the day he died at the Australian Open and cried during that day. I watch basketball every day and it is an important part of my life. I can never imitate what Kobe did, but there may be times in my life when I try. ”
The tattoo tribute further enforces Kyrgios’ comments in January that the spirit of competition Bryant inspired across an entire generation of athletes will always stay with him.
“It’s horrible news. If anything, it motivated me,” Kyrgios said after his fighting loss to Nadal in January.
Nick Kyrgios shows off his new tattoo on Instagram.Source:Instagram
“If you look at the things he stood for, what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight,” Kyrgios said.
“When I was down a break in the fourth, I was definitely thinking about it. I fought back.
“I don’t think they make them like him any more. He was different, the way he trained, the way he did things, the way he played. He was special.
“Just sad. Like, when I think about my life is literally basketball. When I think about it, it’s heavy. It’s tough.”
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