By Melva N. Lloyd
King James is paying homage to the greatest basketball player of all time – last year’s league MVP announced yesterday that he will hang up his jersey that dons the No. 23 out of respect for Michael Jordan. After this season is over, James will begin wearing the No. 6, the same number that he sported during the Olympics.
James made his decision public after the Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Miami Heat last night, a game that interestingly enough had Michael Jordan in attendance; this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Jordan brand and the launch of a special edition of the popular sneaker. So is this perfect timing or just genuine admiration for a stellar athlete?
“…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.”
And by nobody, he means the current list of players that are wearing the esteemed number. A list that includes Marcus Camby, Toney Douglas and Jason Richardson.
NBA stars switching numbers is nothing new; Kobe Bryant traded in No. 8 for No. 24 and “His Airness” himself came out of retirement wearing the No. 45 before switching back to No. 23 after just 22 games.
So why No. 6? LeBron is following in the footsteps of Julius “Dr. J” Erving, who is one of his favorite players and wore No. 6 while he played in the NBA; James’ first son was born on October 6th, and his second was born in June, the sixth month of the year.