While chatting with fans on Instagram Live Saturday, the new Philadelphia Eagles cornerback revealed what number he plans to wear in his first season in the City of Brotherly Love. The sentiment behind the decision? Paying homage to the late, great Kobe Bryant, who was both a Philadelphia native and noted Eagles fan.
"My number I'm rocking? I'm going with that 2-4, man. I'm gonna rock with 2-4 this year. I'm going Kobe mode, man. Black mamba, baby," Slay said, according to a tweet from NBC Sports' John Clark. "Rest in peace to the GOAT, man, one of my favorite players. Gonna rock that 2-4 probably. I think I'm gonna look good in 24."
In the weeks following Bryant's passing in a tragic helicopter crash, along with eight other victims, including his daughter, Gianna, on January 26, many NBA players that wore the Nos. 8 and 24 -- figures Kobe made shine brighter than any other player before him -- changed their numbers out of respect for the "Black Mamba". Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook changed his number from "2" to "28" to pay tribute to Kobe and Gianna, who wore "2" as a youth basketball player.
For the first time in his career, Slay will represent a different team in a different city as he looks to add to his already solid resume. Using Kobe as an inspiration in preparation for tackling a new challenge, something Bryant did so vigorously during his 20-year career, could not have been a better choice.