New Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay will wear No. 24 in a tribute to Kobe Bryant.
Slay announced on Instagram Live he’ll be wearing No. 24 for the Eagles in a tribute to the late Lakers great who perished in a helicopter accident, along with his daughter Gianna, and seven others in January.
Slay was traded by the Detroit Lions to the Eagles for a pair of draft picks. The three-time Pro Bowler had wanted to get out of Detroit for at least the last year and appears to be looking forward to a new start in his career. Slay previously wore No. 23 with the Detroit Lions.
“My number I’m rocking? I’m going with that two four, man. I’m rockin’ with two four this year,” Slay said Saturday night 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.”
No. 24 was last worn by running back Jordan Howard but he was signed by the Miami Dolphins in free agency so the number was vacant and ready for Slay to claim.
After the tragic accident in January, some NBA players like Spencer Dinwiddie, who wore No. 24 switched to a new number as a tribute to Kobe. The line of thought being that number belongs to Kobe and treated like a retired number that shouldn’t be worn by anyone else.
Athletes in other sports can take up the honor of wearing No. 24 and keeping the spirit of Kobe alive by showcasing and playing with the Mamba Mentality that would make him proud.