GQ India

Mamba for Life

Kobe Bryant first entered my life when he was 17, and I was 13, in 1996. He’d just joined the NBA directly from high school, and immediately became my favourite player in a sport I was crazy about.

The way he walked, talked and played was to me a direct physical representation of the music I grew up listening to – West Coast hip-hop. Kobe was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Italy, but almost immediately became as much a part of the LA life as palm trees and year-round sunshine. Being born and raised in LA myself, Kobe became a part of me as well. Throughout my tennis life (both junior and professional), I always looked

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