LeBron to Switch Jersey Numbers Out of Respect for Jordan
MJ attended Thursday's Heat-Cavaliers game with Riley -- the TNT broadcast crew noted that Scottie Pippen also sat courtside, and suggested it might have been some subliminal "pair with Dwyane Wade!" messaging to LeBron James. MJ's presence made the game a bit more weird, and led to a rare political statement from LeBron: he thinks players should stop wearing No. 23 out of deference to His Airness, and he plans to lead the charge by switching to No. 6 next season.
It's a bit hilarious that LeBron has decided that because he wants to respect MJ by abandoning No. 23, the entire league should do the same. But it's par for the course, and understood: if any other player had made such a proclamation without LeBron being on-board, we'd be pointing and laughing at them.
All that said, which players currently wear No. 23? Basketball-Reference has the answer:
Devin Brown, Marcus Camby, Toney Douglas, Stephen Graham, Kevin Martin, Wes Matthews, Jodie Meeks, Jason Richardson, C.J. Watson, Martell Webster, Louis Williams.
Five starters, only three of which (Camby, Richardson and Martin) are "name" players. Three rookies. A couple of a bit players. LeBron is clearly the major hurdle in getting No. 23 retired; we'll see if he can convince his Nike mates Martin and J-Rich to do the same. My best guess is that LeBron will forget he ever made the declaration by next week, and he'll suggest that No. 6 be retired leaguewide after he wins a few more MVPs.