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Naomi Osaka Grieves Kobe Bryant’s Death in Netflix Doc, Wonders How ‘to Carry on His Mentality in Tennis’

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“I didn’t text him that ’cause I didn’t wanna feel like a loser, and now I’ll never have the chance to talk to him again,” Naomi Osaka said of not reaching out to Kobe Bryant. Naomi Osaka is opening up about her close bond with her late friend and mentor Kobe Bryant.

In the second episode of her Netflix documentary Naomi Osaka, which documents her life for two years after her 2018 U.S. Open victory over Serena Williams, the tennis star shares a candid moment during her grieving process following the news of the NBA icon’s death.

In a selfie video recorded on Jan. 27, 2020, one day after the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s death in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, Osaka tearfully talks about her admiration of Bryant’s famous Mamba mentality and influence.

“It’s so amazing how one person can, like, touch the hearts of so many people. I’ve been walking around and there’s so many people with Bryant jerseys on,” Osaka, 23, says in her self-shot footage after showing that she changed her lock screen background to a black-and-white portrait of herself and Bryant, whom she met in June 2019.

“When I talked to him, I felt so similar to him. Like the way he was talking, the way he would describe how, I don’t know, he would do things to get under his opponents’ skin or whatever. I was like, ‘That’s literally what I do.’ So I’m feeling like I let him down, like, I’m supposed to carry on his mentality in tennis and here I am like, having what … I haven’t won a Grand Slam. Like, I’m losing matches because I’m mentally weak, and he’s … that’s so uncharacteristic of him,” says Osaka, who just three days before on Jan. 24, 2020 had lost to American phenom Coco Gauff in the third round of the Australian Open and was unable to defend her 2019 title.

“We’re having all these talks and I’m not even doing what we’re talking about. So it’s like I’m just gonna text him again, like, ‘How do you heal with this situation?’ And then I didn’t text him that ’cause I didn’t wanna feel like a loser, and now I’ll never have the chance to talk to him again. I don’t know, like wow,” she says.

Osaka’s coach Wim Fissette also speaks about the athlete’s reaction to Bryant’s death, specifically how the loss impacted her performance at the 2020 Fed Cup qualifier against Sara Sorribes Tormo on Feb. 7, 2020. “The death of Kobe was a real thing that upset her. They were close,” he shares of Osaka, who broke down in tears after losing to Tormo.

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Question looms over Vanessa Bryant lawsuit against Los Angeles County: What does she want?

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The widow of Kobe Bryant wants retribution for what happened last year after her husband and daughter died in a helicopter crash.

But what kind of retribution? And how much?

Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County, accusing county sheriff’s and fire department employees of improperly sharing photos of dead bodies from the site of the crash that killed nine, including the NBA legend.

As the case heads to trial in February, perhaps the biggest question hovering above it is what her goal is for it.

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Andy Murray’s wedding ring and shoes returned following Indian Wells disappearance

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Andy Murray’s wedding ring and tennis shoes have been recovered after they seemingly disappeared in the California desert.

The three-time major winner is preparing for action at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and left his tennis shoes outside underneath his car to dry out overnight – but they were nowhere to be seen when he returned in the morning.

And it was only when his physio asked about his wedding band that he realised he had left the ring tied to his shoes.

In an Instagram video posted late on Thursday, which was shared on Twitter by the ATP Tour Murray said: “I just want to send a quick message to say a huge thanks for all the messages and also to everyone for sharing the story about the shoes and the wedding ring.

“(I) had to make a few calls today and chat to the security at the hotel and everything.

“Little update for everyone,” he said as he raised the shoes into view.

“Would you believe it, they still absolutely stink but the shoes are back, the wedding ring is back and I’m back in the good books. Let’s go.”

The shoes are back. 👟
The ring is back. 💍

Let’s go, @andy_murray!!! 💪#BNPPO21 pic.twitter.com/hA5VKX98mm

— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 7, 2021

In an earlier post, Murray light-heartedly appealed for the return of the ring – to help him smooth things over with his frustrated wife.

He explained leaving his shoes to dry out under his car as “I have no balcony in my room and I didn’t want to leave them in my room as it would stink the room out”.

Murray married his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in 2015 at Dunblane Cathedral. The couple now have four children.

The Scot is due to play France’s Adrian Mannarino in the first round at Indian Wells on Friday.

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NASCAR Star Has Brutally Honest Admission On Michael Jordan

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Legendary Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan has a very commanding presence, both on and off the basketball court.

In recent years, Jordan has gotten involved in other sports, namely NASCAR. The NBA Hall of Famer is part owner of 23XI Racing, which is co-owned by Denny Hamlin.

The NASCAR team features Bubba Wallace and is adding Kurt Busch for the 2022 season.

Busch, a veteran NASCAR driver, had a brutally honest admission on his meeting with Jordan.

“I mean he is the GOAT. The situation, the way it all came together, it was this impressive meeting out in Sonoma earlier this summer. Right away, I got along with him. Just with the way he was chill but also presented this aura about him. ‘We will win. We are here to win. This is what this is about,’” Busch remembered in an interview with SiriusXM. “And it was like, ‘Yes sir.’ He’s like, ‘Don’t call me sir.’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s win.’”

Busch is excited to get going for 23XI Racing.

“It was just easy right away to piece together what the contract is,” he recalled. “Monster Energy was incredibly excited about it. Toyota, they were the ones behind the scenes, kind of pushing for a veteran to jump in the program and move the needle with 23XI. I’ve raced a long time for a lot of different legendary owners and Hall of Famers in NASCAR. MJ definitely has a different presence about him.”

The 2022 season should be a fun one.

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