LeBron James is expected to have a new number during the 2021-22 NBA season.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, James will wear the No.6 jersey next year, the number he wore during his four years with the Miami Heat.
The change will come after his appearance in “Space Jam 2: A New Legacy” over the summer.
First Look: LeBron James will change his Lakers jersey number to No.6 next season after donning the number in his new movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy”. pic.twitter.com/VZksn1qVCy
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 9, 2021
This is not the first time that James has changed numbers in his career, nor the first time he has worn the No. 6. Here is a brief history of the jerseys he has worn during his 18 years in the business. NBA career.
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Why LeBron James wore the numbers 23, 6 during his NBA career
During his first stint with the Cavaliers from 2003 to 2010, James donned the No. 23 jersey. The reason he chose this jersey had everything to do with Michael Jordan, as he explained in an interview in 2019.
“I wear the great Michael Jordan n ° 23”, Jacques said. “When I first started playing basketball I was like, ‘Oh man, that looks good. I want to be able to fly like him. I want to be able to shoot like him. I want to be able to dunk on someone like him. I want to be able to stick my tongue out like him in the air and scream in the face of someone like MJ.
“So ever since I started playing ball I wore No. 23.”
However, when James first joined the Heat in 2010, he left the No.23 jersey and opted to wear the No.6 instead. At the time, he explained that he was doing this to honor Jordan’s legacy.
“I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game needs to be recognized somehow soon,” James said, according to Bleacher Report. “There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan first.
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At the time, James even asked for the number to be taken down throughout the league.
“I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I’m starting a petition and asking everyone in the NBA to sign it.” said Jacques. “Now if I don’t wear number 23, then no one else should be able to wear it.”
It never really gained momentum, and so when James returned to Cleveland in 2014 he opted to wear the No.23 jersey again. He wore 23 from that point in 2014-21 until ‘when the last change is announced.
Why is LeBron James changing his jersey number again?
But why is LeBron making the switch again? Well, it might have something to do with teammate Anthony Davis.
Prior to coming to the Lakers, Davis had always worn the 23 jersey with the Pelicans, and James was fine with the idea of gifting Davis the number. However, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Nike closed this ahead of the 2019-20 season:
Due to production issues and the massive financial blow Nike reportedly absorbed from James No.23 inventory already produced, Nike was unable to meet demand for this season, sources said.
After a few years, Nike may be better able to adjust to change, especially if James and Davis have given them advance notice.
However, as The Athletic’s Charania and Tim Cato reported, Davis is expected to retain his No. 3 jersey. So, maybe there is another reason why James chose to turn things around again.