Philadelphia Eagles star Darius Slay revealed he only gave James Harden the football after his third quarter interception at the goal line so that he could meet the NBA star after his team’s 24-7 win against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.
Slay wheeled away in celebration after his first of two interceptions before handing the ball to the NBA star during the Eagles triumph Monday.
The 31-year-old cornerback admitted the 76ers superstar is his ‘favorite player’ and that he only spotted him at Lincoln Financial Field after he came up on the stadium’s big screen.
‘Well, honestly, I didn’t know he was there at the game until they put him on the jumbotron,’ Slay told reporters in a postgame press conference after the Eagles’ home win to go 2-0 overall and top of the NFC East.
‘Yeah, he knows he’s one of my favorite players. And, you know, shoot… why not? I get a chance to meet James Harden – a Hall of Fame basketball player.
‘If I make a play tonight, definitely a pick, I got to give him the ball man because he’s well respect in the league, one of my favorites like I said so I was like “ay it’s a good opportunity”.’
After Monday night’s win, Harden made sure to meet up with Slay to congratulate him for his performance, while also letting people know on his way out: ‘Got the ball signed, I’m good.’
‘He just said ”much respect man,”‘ Slay told reporters, as he revealed his talk with ‘The Beard’.
‘He was shocked that I gave [the football] to him too but I told ”hey man you’re one of my favorites, respect your game.” Shoot, I’m just looking forward to seeing him do the same thing. No going crazy,’ he added.
The cornerback played a key role in the Eagles’ second win of the season against the Vikings, as he finished the game with two interceptions and five passes defensed, both in the team’s red zone.
He also shut down Vikings star Just Jefferson, who ended up with six catches but only for 48 yards. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, however, ran the show – rushing for two touchdowns, completing 26 of 31 passes for 333 yards with an interception and adding 57 yards on 11 carries.
Philadelphia (2-0) never trailed and limited Minnesota to 264 yards of total offense.
The Eagles did most of its damage in the first half, outgaining the Vikings 347 yards to 93 and building a 24-7 lead at the break. Minnesota went three-and-out on four of its five possessions in the half.
Three Vikings possessions in the scoreless second half ended with Kirk Cousins getting picked off deep in Eagles territory.
Slay intercepted a pass near the goal line in the third quarter and one at the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter. Avonte Maddox nabbed the other interception inside the 15-yard line in the third quarter after Minnesota’s Patrick Peterson blocked an Elliott field goal.
The Vikings will now look to redeem themselves on Sunday when NFC North rivals, Detroit, travel to US Bank Stadium.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia will look to extend its flawless record in the capital against the Commanders.