Responding to a fan tweet, a Davis collaborator responded that the basketball star has been reverting back to his old number from the end of last season. Davis, who played in one regular season game as a six-foot-one power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers back in December, has worn No. 23 for his entire career. But, with James returning to his old number, No. 6, Davis figured he should return to his old jersey again, too.
The NBA is in transition. With LeBron James heading back to Cleveland, the league has decided that No. 6 will no longer be the home for players who prefer to wear No. 23, while No. 23 will no longer be the home for players who prefer to wear No. 6. The end result will be that neither No. 6 nor No. 23 will be retired for LeBron, and thus, neither No. 6 nor No. 23 will be worn by any other players. This is a highly symbolic move, because it’s a statement that LeBron is no longer the undisputed No. 1 player in the NBA. And it’s a statement that he’s no longer the No. 1 player in the Association.It’s not good for the Los Angeles Lakers if the biggest thing we can discuss about the team as the NBA playoffs continue is what happens to Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ jersey numbers for the 2021-22 season. But given that AD, LeBron and company were easily crushed by Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the postseason, we stopped there. For those who don’t know: James went from number 23 to number 6, which he wore during his four-year career with the Miami Heat. There has been speculation that Davis could get the number 23, which he wore for seven seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. LeBron did try the no. 23 AD to relinquish when he arrived in Los Angeles in 2019, but he wasn’t allowed to, so Davis took the no. 3. And he will clearly stick to it for a number of reasons that we’ll talk about later.
LeBron James tried to give Anthony Davis the number 23 when he joined the Lakers
Anthony Davis and LeBron James celebrate during the Lakers vs Grizzlies game in February 2021 | Meg Oliphant/Getty Images When Davis got his long-awaited wish and was traded to the Lakers in the summer of 2019, LeBron tried to give his new assistant the No. 23 pick. He even went so far as to post Davis’ No. 23 jersey on Instagram as they posed together for their first photo as teammates. However, the bill was defeated for several reasons. First, the NBA requires a player to give at least one year’s notice that he wants to change numbers. And secondly, Nike had no intention of letting that happen, as they have already released apparel with James’ number 23 for the 2019-20 season. A last-minute change would obviously cost Nike tens of millions of dollars, so even if the league broke the rules and allowed it, Nike wouldn’t do it. LeBron’s move to No. 6 was further delayed when the 2019-20 season was postponed due to COVID-19, and The Athletic recently reported that the recently confirmed move was timed to coincide with the release of Space Jam:. A New Legacy, where James will run a hoop with Bugs Bunny in costume #6.
Davis fell in love with the number 3, because that’s the number under which he won his first NBA championship
. The number 23 was not available when he joined the Lakers, so Davis chose the number 3 because that was the number he wore in grade school. And he did well in Los Angeles. In two seasons with the Lakers, AD averaged 24.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.4 steals in 98 regular season games and 25.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in 26 postseason games. Those 26 games in the postseason are exactly double what he played in his seven seasons with the Pelicans at No. 23. Sure, he never came close to an NBA championship in New Orleans, but he did in his first season in Los Angeles, which is clearly why he’s holding on to the #3 spot, which makes sense. And given that he just signed a five-year contract, Davis might see the number 3 hanging next to the legendary back numbers the Lakers have already retired, if he keeps doing what he’s doing and wins another title or two. And frankly, he never had a connection with the number 23.
AD is only number 23 because that is the number he got at school
. Because Davis wore the number 23 not only with the Pelicans, but also for a season at Kentucky and in high school, he was once asked if he wore the number because of Michael Jordan, which is usually asked of anyone who wears the number 23. But AD said Jordan had absolutely nothing to do with it. He only wore it because it was the number he was given in his freshman year of high school, and he stuck to it. Statistics provided by Basketball Reference COMPARED TO: LeBron James, oddly enough, has never averaged 27 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds per game NBA