26 February 2020

'He wasn't bad at tennis either! Watch Naomi Osaka and Kobe Bryant on court

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has shared a video of her having a knock-up with the late Kobe Bryant after his tennis skills were questioned at his celebration of life service.

LA Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said: "When Kobe retired from playing basketball, people would often ask me how I thought he would fuel his competitive drive. The answers came in a couple of surprising ways. The first was in a new sport - tennis. Right after Kobe stopped playing for the Lakers, we took up playing tennis at a local private club in Newport Beach.

"We began having epic one-on-one battles. I picked up the game faster than him, so early on he would often fall behind. And that did not sit well with Kobe at all. 

"What does the Black Mamba do? The next few times I arrived at the club, there he was waiting for me already with the full sweat."

Osaka responded to Pelinka's story by sharing a video of the pair on court last year. 

She posted it on Twitter and captioned it: "He wasn’t THAT bad at tennis, haha love you bro."

Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash last month alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

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