NFL's Slay changes number to 24 in tribute to NBA's Bryant


Los Angeles (AFP)

New Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Darius Slay says he will change his NFL jersey number to 24 in tribute to the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

The 29-year-old cornerback, who was traded to the Eagles on Friday by the Detroit Lions, announced his plan in a social media post.

"I'm going Kobe mode," Slay said. "Black Mamba, baby. Rest in peace to the GOAT (greatest of all time). One of my favorite players.

"And I think I'm going to look good in that 24."

Slay, who wore number 23 while playing for Detroit for seven seasons, signed a new three-year deal with Philadelphia on Saturday.

Slay is a three-time Pro Bowl player and was joint NFL leader in interceptions in 2017.

Bryant died in January at age 41 in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles that killed eight others, including his daughter Gianna.

Bryant played his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The superstar guard led the club to five NBA titles during his stay. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and also helped the United States capture Olympic gold in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 in London.