Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka showed gratitude for the late Kobe Bryant as she reflected on her journey in tennis during the latest episode of Good Trouble With Nick Kyrgios. The 26-year-old tennis superstar recalled a candid conversation she had with Bryant.

“I remember when I first met him and we kind of sat and had, I don’t know, like hours, 3 hours maybe of a conversation,” Osaka told Nick Kyrgios. “And one of the things I always remember him telling me is, like the people around you are noise if that makes sense. Like if there’s news and media and whatever, like you’re a lion, and all of that are like the flies buzzing around the lion’s eyes and you only have to focus on your prey. I was like really inspired by that.”

On the contrary, Osaka also expressed doubt, admitting that she sometimes wonders if she disappointed Bryant.

“Sometimes, like when I sit and I think about my career, I feel a little sad because I’m like, I wonder if he’s kind of disappointed in me and how I handle things,” Osaka said. “But I think just trying to refocus on kind of being a lion and like, wanting your prey and wanting to strive and get better is something that hopefully I’m doing better at.”

“I think he would be proud of you, that’s for sure,” Kyrgios assured her.

In a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair, Osaka said Bryant often gave her advice, especially at a time when she was losing matches and feeling overwhelmed by the increasing media attention. Osaka said she had planned to reach out to Bryant shortly before he died in early 2020 but didn’t because she felt too ashamed after her losses on the court.

“I’m feeling like I let him down,” Osaka said in 2021. “I’m supposed to carry on his mentality in tennis, and here I am…I haven’t won a Grand Slam. I’m losing matches because I’m mentally weak, and that’s so uncharacteristic of him.”

She added, “I didn’t text him that because I didn’t want to feel like a loser — and now I’ll never have the chance to talk to him again.”

In her recent conversation with Kyrgios, Osaka also touched on defeating tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams.

“I feel like growing up I dreamed the moment so many times and then to finally experience it in real life, it kind of felt like I was watching myself on TV,” Osaka said. “Yeah, so a bit out of body. But also, I don’t know, a little sad because I felt kind of sad for them. Like I’m sure they were going to feel sad losing to me because I was kind of a nobody at that moment.”

Osaka, who welcomed her first child in July 2023, said motherhood has motivated her to stay disciplined with her schedule.

“I just feel like I don’t have time to waste, so I’m trying to be really efficient with everything,” she said. “And I think when I was younger I could hit for like 3 hours and kind of waste time in the middle or whatever. But now I know there’s someone waiting for me at home and I have to take care of her. So right now I just feel like every second counts.”

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight earlier this year, Osaka credited motherhood for making her feel like she could conquer anything.

“I feel so strong. People talk about childbirth, but it’s different once you experience it,” she said at the time. “I just feel like I can do anything, and nothing will bother me, and the pain tolerance has definitely increased a lot from that. I just don’t really care about other people’s opinions anymore.”

Check out Osaka’s full interview on the latest episode of Good Trouble With Nick Kyrgios below!