LeBron James to Change Jersey Number

LeBron james jersey No 6 Number sixBack in February, we touched on the news that LeBron James was considering making a change in terms of his jersey number.  The discussion revolved around his number with the Cavaliers, 23, and his number in the Olympics, 6.  This morning, it appears that this decision has been made and would take effect next season.

When we dove in to why James would make the move, the obvious answer was the marketing. 

TD wrote, “Changing to #6 would sell a whole host of new jerseys and enhance his already gigantic popularity. I would say it was a brilliant move if Kobe Bryant hadn’t thought of it first. When Kobe went from #8 to #24, his new jersey shot to the top of the most-sold list ahead of Lebron, who at the time was numero uno.”

This time around, however, it appears – at least per James – that the decision is based on his idol Michael Jordan.  James is starting a movement that would give Jordan the Jackie Robinson treatment, retiring the number across the entire league. 

“[Jordan] can’t get the logo, and if he can’t, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I’m starting a petition, and I’ve got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.”

James has a bevy of reasons for choosing No. 6, ranging from the abovementioned Olympic jersey.  His current practice jersey is No. 6, and there are several family-related reasons for his No. 6 preference.

Tom Ziller at NBA FanHouse lists the players whom James would have to convince to abandon the No. 23.  This list encompasses some bigger names like Jason Richardson and Kevin Martin, ranging all the way to rookie shooting guard Toney Douglas and former Cavalier Devin Brown.

Do not be surprised if some media outlet chooses to take the angle that James is announcing this movement because the No. 23 is retired in a few other select cities (specifically, Miami, Chicago and New Jersey) so James would inherently be “simply laying the groundwork” for a forthcoming change.

Circling back, this is bound to be big on several fronts – as it seems to be the case with anything James does or says.  It would not surprise me if this leads to a watershed event that allows high school and college players to wear numbers with a digit above five.   Ron Artest may not get younger kids to want to wear No. 93 or No. 37, but James definitely has the appeal to make kids want to wear No. 6. 

For now, the No. 23 Cavaliers jersey will continue to float around the top of the list in terms of sales.  One can only imagine that the No. 6 will do the same by this time next season.

  • Matt

    Didn’t Jordan wear #6 on the Olympic team?

  • Matt

    Oops- he was #9

  • MrCleaveland

    No. 6 was Bill Russell’s number. He won 11 championships, way more than Jordan. Why shouldn’t No. 6 be retired league-wide as well? Why is LeBron disrespecting Bill Russell?

    Seriously, isn’t all this kind of silly?

  • Swig

    2 * 3 = 6

  • steve

    his number is of little significance to me.

  • Boomhauer

    Maybe he’s changing his number because he knows he’s staying with the Cavs and wants to sell more jerseys to everyone who already bought #23 Cavalier jerseys.

  • Chris


    /waiting for the first moronic columnist to print this.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny


  • ben


  • JD

    lol @ #9

  • Dawgpowned

    So he’s doing this out of respect for MJ? Does that mean he was disrespecting MJ the first time around, or was it simply that he didn’t know about MJ or what he had accomplished when he took his number? I’m confused.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    It means because he’s not going to talk about his free agency, he feels the need to find other ways to keep himself in the headlines.

  • Brad in ATL

    #9 – Thanks for the laugh!!

  • Clown Baby

    Uh. Can we go back to the free agency talk LeBron. I liked talking about something irritating that at least had an actual impact on Cleveland basketball.

  • Painesville

    I guess the championship is guaranteed now.

  • Painesville

    Fly kicks? I had no idea what he was talking about at first.

    /get off my lawn

  • JM

    HE WILL WEAR NUMBER 6 BECAUSE WHEN HE GOES TO NEW YORK HE WILL WIN 6 TITLES. Who cares it is a number change. Jordan did it, Kobe, did it, so why not LeBron too.

  • Brendon

    As long as his jersey stays wine & gold, i could care less what his number is.

  • http://mikeammo.blogspot.com Ammo

    I have to ask, especially after Jordan’s ego trip in his Hall of Fame speech…did Jordan “humble” LeBron about #23 and thus he wants to change his number because of it?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “did Jordan “humble” LeBron about #23”

    Like the Iron Sheik?

  • Clown Baby


    Ohhh boy. If that’s the case I would be giving that number post haste.

  • Clown Baby

    giving “up” that is….

  • Anthony

    If the NBA retires Jordan’s # league-wide, where does it stop? Do they retire Bird’s and Magic’s too? This seems very subjective to me – unlike the retiring of Jackie Robinson’s #, which was not only because of his stats, but because of how much he meant to a cultural movement.

    And this is comment #… yep, you guessed it.

  • b

    For what it’s worth, #23 is ALREADY retired in new jersey, and he does have to declare a number change by March. So, keeping options open?? Conspiracy theories abound.
    Even before this, I have been trying to get Cavs fans used to life without Lebron.
    Either way, isn’t it so nice that between the Yankees sneakers and Cowboys hats, Lebron is advocating a league-wide honor for a guy who built his career stomping on Cleveland’s hearts?

  • Clown Baby

    What does this have to do with life without LeBron? I don’t see the connection.

  • http://mikeammo.blogspot.com Ammo


    Without LeBron, there are no Cavs. The Q will be a ghost town again.

    See Cavs pre-LeBron.

  • Omar13Vizquel

    @ #23

    You’ve been reassigned comment #6. Comment #6, you’ve been reassigned comment #27. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Omar13Vizquel

    Honestly, though, I think we all can agree Michael Jordan got everything he deserved in the way of plaudits, media attention, championships, MVPS, and money — and way WAY more — for his entire NBA career and beyond. Let’s all agree he was great. He’s still a guy who most of us in NBA cities respected and despised for pretty much the entirety of our youths. I’ve read and heard enough about Michael Jordan to last a few lifetimes.

    When I was young and “playing” CYO basketball, I never could stand those good players whose father/coach always handed their son the #23 jersey. And I thought LeBron’s initial decision to wear #23 was cliched anyway.

    Michael Jordan. He was good. Let’s move on, without giving him the Jackie Robinson or “logo” treatment.

  • Matt#2

    Julius Erving Who?

  • ben

    lol welcome guys

    also lol @ 27. Hilarious!

  • rd

    and the #1 reason for the number change – cuz he wont have a new TEAM jersey to sell next year – when he resigns with the cavs. Therefore, he needs a way to generate a whole new wave of jersey purchases….

  • Jay

    Lebron changed his jersey number for one reason and one reason alone:

    This summer I bought a Lebron James ‘home’ jersey. I already had Andy (in white home/red away/blue alternate) and decided I should buy a Lebron jeresy for pospierity (sp?) sake. Now my white Lebron #23 Cavs jersey can hang in the closet along side Couch, Warren, Wille Green, Bobby Sura (yes, I just admitted that), and the rest of the ghosts of jerseies past.

    Thanks King!

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP Diesel

    League-wide jersey retirements, IMHO, should be reserved for guys who completely change their sport. There are only two that I know of, but I might be stupid and forgetting and obvious one:

    42 – Jackie Robinson – broke the color barrier and reshaped the game

    99 – Wayne Gretzky – basically owns every meaningful NHL offensive statistic by plenty, and all but single-handedly built hockey in the mainstream United States in the late-80’s by getting traded to LA and taking the Kings to the Finals in 1993.

  • kreep

    yeah, we’ve certainly heard way too much from/of jordan. soon we will be saying the very same of the king. this is ridiculous and just plain stupid. let your play earn your attention.

  • http://www.realfakesports.com RFS

    I agree kreep. Let your play do the talking. I was a Jordan fan, but his arrogant hall of fame speech kind of turned me off.

  • Hmm

    Um, Jordan didn’t revolutionize the game of basketball? Your kidding me right? Jordan is the best player to ever have played the game and the best there will ever be. He is the ONLY player, besides maybe Wilt Chamberlain, who deserves to have their number retired throughout the league. Who gives about his Hall of Fame speech? That doesn’t change how much of an impact he had on basketball. C’mon now, let’s be real. Jordan deserves the respect that LeBron is giving him. 100% deserves it.

  • ricky_k

    Lebron James should not change his jersey number, for the simple fact that the number 23 is just a “number”! Who says that possibly Lebron might not completely become the greatest player alive. The NBA isn’t over, that’s why they draft players. I understand paying respects to the “GOAT”, but he did wear #45 so are they gonna retire it also? Honestly by the looks of it Lebron might just surpass him. Jordan didn’t get his 1st ring until 1991, and Lebron is in his 7th year do the math. And i say “when he gets his 1st ring HE WILL GET AT LEAST 2 CONSECUTIVE! and he already has stats. So Lebron, for the sake of you and your millions of fans keep the #23 and carry it with honor

  • Hans

    A simple number doesn’t affect LeBron’s

  • ahmed

    why did he change his number?

  • http://shake23 shaquille

    I dont think that is very smart of him he is better than jordan
    it should stay 23 if he sees this i want him to listen plaese
    im his biggest fan.

  • ahahahahah

    I think possibly because the number 23 is retired for chicago, he may have changed his number hinting at his new home, Chicago?….Why number 6?–>Number of championships the Bulls have won

  • hates illuminati

    because james is an illuminati and 6 is one of symbols in the society!!!