LOOK: Tennis star Nick Kyrgios sports Kobe Bryant jersey at Aussie Open

By Vincent Frank
Sandy Hooper-USA TODAY

Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios took on the world’s top-ranked tennis player Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday.

A major underdog, Kyrgios took Nadal to four sets, losing 7-6 in the final. Though, that’s not the story here. A major Kobe Bryant fan, Kyrgios was seen during the entire pre-match warmups wearing a Kobe Bryant No. 8 jersey.

This came mere hours after the basketball legend passed away at the age of 41 in a helicopter accident in Southern California, an accident that claimed the lives of his daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

Needless to say, Kobe’s death impacted those in North America. That included basketball and football players alike.

However, he was an international brand and someone who transcended North American sports. Seeing an emotional Kyrgios pay tribute to Bryant adds yet another layer to that.

It’s going to be a while before the sports world can even think of moving forward following the tragic events in California Sunday morning. Bryant’s life and impact will never be forgotten.