Eagles’ Darius Slay Showcases Amazing ‘Mamba’ Tribute Cleats

Darius Slay

Getty Darius Slay at the Super Bowl.

Darius Slay likes to travel and now he’s traveling in style.

The Eagles’ shutdown cornerback debuted his cleats for Week 2 on Instagram and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The Georgia native has made no secret about his man-crush on Kobe Bryant — Slay actually got to meet the NBA legend in 2015 when they exchanged jerseys — and he’ll be honoring Bryant’s memory on the field on Sunday.

Slay, who locked down Terry McLaurin in Week 1, will be sporting black snake-skin cleats showing Bryant on one shoe with the words “Black Mamba” on the other one. The 29-year-old chose to wear No. 24 in Philly to honor his childhood hero. Slay has talked at length about his admiration for Bryant and tries to mimic his Black Mamba mentality. He slaps the mural to the former Lakers star every day at the Eagles’ practice facility.

“I walk by it every day to get to the weight room. It’s a great way to see how he thinks, makes him one of the greatest basketball players ever, to see what he put out there,” Slay said in August. “As a player, in a professional game, I .respect that …  I just want to live my life in that way and approach the game as he approached it.”

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‘It’s A Big Deal’ Meeting Bryant, Per Slay

When Slay met Bryant at a Pistons-Lakers game in 2015, he was a tad star-struck. Meeting your childhood hero is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. He wasn’t about to mess it up.

The cornerback met Bryant after the game in a surreal scene in Detroit. Slay got his autograph, the two took pictures together, and they even exchanged game jerseys. The NFL star also walked away with some amazing words of encouragement for how to carve out his own (hopefully) Hall-of-Fame career.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Bryant said after meeting Slay, via ESPN. “What I enjoy hearing from them is how my mentality or my approach to the game is something that has inspired them. Something that they think of when they’re preparing or they’re training, and it’s inspirational for me as well to hear that from them.”

Slay was rendered speechless. It was a much bigger deal shaking Bryant’s hand than, say, LeBron James.

“It’s a big deal. Big deal, man,” Slay told ESPN. “Only thing bigger than this is if I’m in the Hall of Fame. If I ever get in the Hall of Fame, that would be big. That’s how big this was. This is big. I just met Kobe. It don’t get no bigger than that. I wouldn’t get this excited about meeting LeBron, but Kobe, I could just scream.”

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