Lebron James announced that he would be giving his number 23 to Anthony Davis but it looks like Nike has other ideas.
LeBron Will Wear 23 This Season
While the gesture seems to have been done in good faith, Nike has told LeBron James that he will have to wait until next season before he can change his jersey number. According to multiple reports, James missed the March 15th deadline to inform the league of number changes. The NBA stated that they would allow the change but James would need approval from Nike. Unfortunately for LeBron, Nike had already begun production of his jersey for next season and stated that the financial loss would be to big to allow the move for this season.
Last night Anthony Davis posted the following picture on Instagram letting the world know he has chosen to wear the #3 for the upcoming season:
At the end of the day, Nike can’t be happy with this situation because obviously this means that they will sell less Anthony Davis jerseys. Most fans that are considering purchasing Davis’ jersey will not just wait until next season so they don’t have to buy it more than once. As for next season, whatever losses they incur because of this situation, they will probably make it up with all of the fans flocking to get the “new” Anthony Davis and LeBron Laker jerseys. As for the relationship between the two superstars, it appears that they are good friends who share the same high profile agent, Rich Paul. The priority in Los Angeles is winning championships regardless of what number they wear on the court. If James and Davis can bring home a title the jersey sales are sure to go through the roof next year.
It’s the Thought That Counts for LeBron not Nike
In making this gesture, LeBron James wanted to make Anthony Davis feel at home with the Lakers. After all, LeBron isn’t attached to the number 23. In a way that number has been haunting him his entire career. He is and will always be chasing the ghost of the man that made the number famous, Michael Jordan.
When LeBron left Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach, he switched his jersey number to 6 which is also the number he uses with the U.S Olympic team. While he admitted to wearing 23 in honor of Jordan, it wasn’t always clear why he wore the number six. He did say at the time that he had several reasons for choosing the number but “Dr. J” Julius Erving, one of the most beloved superstars in NBA history. He was a 16-time All-Star, a league MVP and an NBA champion with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In essence, before there was LeBron there was Jordan. Before Jordan there was the Doctor which shows you LeBron has a deep respect for the game considering he was 3-years-old when Julius Erving retired. He also stated his other reason for wearing number six is his kids. His first son was born on October 6th and his other son was born in June, the 6th month of the year.
Regardless of what number is on his jersey, Lakers fans only care about one number and that’s 17. The Lakers have 16 championships as a franchise and LeBron James will be expected to deliver #17 and beyond.