LeBron James Says He’ll Change Jersey Number Out of Respect for Michael Jordan


Nov 13, 2009

LeBron James Says He'll Change Jersey Number Out of Respect for Michael Jordan Even in retirement, Michael Jordan may just be the most powerful man in professional sports.

Sitting courtside at Thursday night's Cavaliers-Heat game, Jordan took in the show that was LeBron James vs. Dwyane Wade. Afterward, James turned the attention to Jordan when the 24-year-old declared that he would be changing his jersey number from No. 23 to No. 6 next year because he believes No. 23 should be retired for all NBA players in honor of Jordan, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon," James said. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first.

"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 said Jordan's legacy extends from basketball heroics to fashionable footwear.

"If you see 23, you think about Michael Jordan," James said. "You see game-winning shots, you think abLeBron James Says He'll Change Jersey Number Out of Respect for Michael Jordanout Michael Jordan; you see guys fly through the air, you think about Michael Jordan; you see fly kicks, you think about Michael Jordan. He did so much, it has to be recognized, and not just by putting him in the Hall of Fame."

 James said he plans to wear No. 6 next season in honor of Julius Erving — James' second-favorite player — and because he wore the number during the Olympics.

Even though the number change is a big deal for one of the NBA's premier players, the bigger story will be seeing which team's jersey that No. 6 will be sewn onto once next season begins (it's available in New York).

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