The newest Philadelphia Eagle will represent his new hometown by honoring one of the city’s greatest exports.
Darius Slay announced over the weekend that he will wear No. 24 with the Eagles as a way to honor the late Kobe Bryant, who went to high school at Lower Merion in Ardmore.
“My number I’m rocking? I’m going with that two-four, man. I’m rockin’ with two-four this year,” Slay said in an Instagram Live video. “Kobe mode. Black mamba, baby. Rest in peace to the GOAT, man. Rest in peace to one of my favorite players. … I think I’m gonna look good in 24.”
Bryant was drafted out of high school by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 where he was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Out west, he became one of the NBA’s greatest scorers of all-time, recording 33,643 career points while winning five championships and garnering 18 All-Star selections.
He was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
Slay was acquired by the Eagles last week in a trade with the Detroit Lions. He immediately voiced his excitement about playing in Bryant’s hometown.
“Really get to play for my favorite athlete of all-time team!!! Miss ya, Kobe,” he wrote on Twitter.
No. 24 was made available after running back Jordan Howard opted to sign with the Miami Dolphins this offseason.
The 29-year-old spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career with the Detroit Lions where he developed into one of the top cornerbacks in the game.
A three-time Pro Bowler, he is expected to give the struggling Eagles’ secondary an all-important boost heading into 2020.