NFL cornerback Darius Slay, who is joining the Philadelphia Eagles will change his jersey number two 24 in tribute to the late NBA legend Kobe 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.