Economics of NBA stars: James changed to wear the Lakers No. 6 jersey

Economics of NBA stars: James changed to wear the Lakers No. 6 jersey

The deal to join the Lakers “Brow” Anthony Davis in order to help the new owners to form the Big Three can be described as loyal and wise, he not only gave up as much as $ 4 million in trade guarantees, but also volunteered to participate in the Lakers recruiting Leonard’s meeting (but this move has been rejected by the NBA official). The face of the “Brow” fist sincerity, James also returned the favor, decided to give the Lakers 23, which he wore last season, so that the “Brow” can continue the tradition of wearing the 23 jersey, while James himself on social media hinted that he would James himself hinted on social media that he would wear number 6 instead. James has already applied to the NBA to change his jersey number, James’ move makes the “Browns” quite grateful.

#6 & #23 Lebron James

As a league with more than 70 years of history, the NBA’s jersey numbers have long been a part of the players’ personal brand culture, or even a core component, and many stars’ personal logos are often designed based on their numbers, such as Jordan, Iverson and other superstars. Once a superstar decides to change his jersey number, it is often not only for the expression of personal feelings, but more importantly, the star will also carry out a personal rebranding and upgrading, while the NBA league uses this to boost sales of jerseys and other NBA peripherals. So, NBA stars changing their jersey numbers is a big business.

As we all know, Kobe is the only NBA star who has retired two jerseys from the same team so far. In the summer of 2006, Kobe announced his decision to switch from the No. 8 jersey to the No. 24 jersey, which led to various speculations. Because Jordan’s 23 jersey number has long been deeply rooted in people’s hearts, so many people think that Kobe changed to wear 24 is to prove that he is stronger than Jordan some. And Kobe’s official explanation is: “There are 24 hours in a day and 24 seconds in an offense; I want to give my all in every moment.”

But there are also some comments that the number change is actually a key step in Kobe’s personal rebranding. Kobe was involved in a sexual assault scandal in 2003 that led to the termination of his contract with a number of sponsors, in addition to Nike and other sponsors temporarily sidelined him. After his epic performance in 2005-06, Kobe’s business value and personal brand reputation gradually rebounded. At this time, Kobe changed his jersey number to make a cut with the past. The fact is that after Kobe changed his jersey number, not only did he sell more jerseys than ever before, topping the NBA jersey sales charts several times, but his business value also rebounded and even hit a new peak, and more importantly, his personal image also underwent a qualitative transformation. 8-era Kobe, although flying and triple crown in hand, was always seen as a high-minded and arrogant man who only knew how to fight alone. “Jordan’s successor”, while the Kobe of No. 24 washed up, more mature, led the team to complete two consecutive championships, transformed into a recognized leader and king.

A similar personal brand metamorphosis and upgrade also happened to James. James suddenly called out to the entire league during the 2009-10 season, calling on all league players to stop wearing the No. 23 jersey in order to honor Jordan, and that NBA teams should retire the No. 23 jersey from their teams. James said he was willing to start with himself and never wear the No. 23 jersey again. But the response to James’s call was sparse, inviting ridicule from the likes of Big Van Gundy. With that summer James transferred to the Heat, with Wade, Bosh to form the Big Three, the world only suddenly realized that James no longer wear 23 may be another plan, because the Heat as early as 2003 after Jordan’s last retirement has retired a hybrid Bulls and Wizards color scheme red and blue 23 jerseys for Jordan, so James joined the Heat can only choose another jersey number.

Although James’ decision to move to the Heat was criticized, his Heat No. 6 jersey broke Kobe’s monopoly on the NBA jersey sales charts at the time, and as he led the team to two consecutive championships, James’ public opinion morphed and people no longer held a grudge against him, and James wore the Heat No. 6 to complete the rescue of his personal image. And when James decided to return to the Cavaliers in 2014, he announced that he would rewear the Cavaliers’ No. 23 jersey, and despite the suspicion that this was a broken promise, the Cavaliers’ No. 23 jersey was quickly booked out and became the top of the NBA jersey sales chart.

In 2018, with James joining the Lakers, not only did his own Lakers No. 23 jersey break Curry’s monopoly on the jersey sales chart’s triple crown, but under his drive, the Lakers jersey also overtook the Warriors to become the NBA team jersey sales king, and James’ commercial value was finally tapped to a greater extent in the megalopolis of Los Angeles. It can be predicted that with this time James changed to wear the No. 6 jersey, the new season James will likely reign as the NBA jersey sales. 

Since NBA players changing their jersey numbers is a big business, so NBA players often have a set of unwritten rules for changing their numbers, one of which is to talk about the status of the jungle. In order to respect the seniors, the team has retired the jersey number in principle can not be worn again, and when two players’ number claims collide, the shallower players will often consciously give up the number to the more senior. This time James can break the customary initiative to give the 23 to the little brother “thick eyebrow brother”, which undoubtedly reflects the broad mind of James and the “thick eyebrow brother” himself valued.

Of course, as the number transferee will often pay out a sum of money or buy a gift to the number transferee as compensation. One of the most generous cases in recent years is Webber gave Iguodala a Rolex watch. 2004-05 season, super power forward Webber transferred to the 76ers, as a result, he has been wearing the number 4 jersey has belonged to the rookie Iguodala, and respect for the elderly Iguodala immediately understanding to give the number 4 to Webber, himself to wear the number 9 jersey. Webber generously gave Iguodala a valuable Rolex to show his appreciation.

During the 2003-04 season, Marshall joined the Raptors through a transfer, and his favorite jersey, No. 42, was owned by Chinese player Battelle. After joining the team, Marshall begged Battelle several times to give his number to him, and the gregarious Battelle finally agreed to this, and Marshall had to stuff Battelle with cash for this, saying straight out that he “couldn’t break the rules”.

In the long history of the NBA, there have also been some exceptions and become a good story. For example, with the consent of the retired jersey, the later can wear the number again. As you know, the Spurs retired the number 12 jersey for Bruce Bowen, the “King of the Pads. But in the summer of 2015, in order to recruit Aldridge, who was an All-Star insider at the time and had been wearing No. 12 for his career, Bowen graciously told the team that he was willing to let Aldridge continue to wear No. 12 as long as he was willing to join, and Aldridge eventually joined the Spurs and continued to wear No. 12.

In addition, in the summer of 2003, “Magic” Johnson also tried to give up his jersey number 32 to Karl Malone. At that time, the Lakers lost the fourth straight championship, the two positions of power forward and point guard fatal shortcomings completely exposed, and decided to bring in two former superstars Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Malone made a huge sacrifice at the time, willing to base salary of $1 million to invest, “Magic” in view of Malone in the Jazz has been wearing the No. 32 jersey, so generously said to their retired Lakers No. 32 jersey to Malone. Although Malone held the 32 jersey and the “Magician” in the welcome conference, but he knows the “Magician” in the Lakers history of the special status, so afterwards very understanding choice to wear their own in college jersey No. 11.

Of course, the most classic case in this regard is when the Celtics retired the number 18 jersey twice. The first time the Celtics retired the number 18 jersey, the famous name was Jim Loskotov, who played for the Celtics from 1955 to 1964 and helped the team win six championships. After he retired, the Celtics decided to retire his No. 18 jersey, but Loskotov believed that No. 18 was a very auspicious number that could bring good luck to players, and he was convinced that there would be future generations who would enjoy the number, so he declined the honor of having the jersey retired. As it turned out, in 1970, the Celtics drafted superstar center Dave Cowens, who helped make their dynasty a mid-career success, and Cowens’ favorite number was No. 18. After Cowens retired, the Celtics decided to retire the number 18 jersey again for Cowens, and in honor of Jim Loscutoff, the Celtics retired a jersey with the words “LOSCY” (Loscutoff: Loscutoff’s nickname is Loscy) on it.

There is a special case where the retired jersey is worn again, and that is when the player himself makes a comeback. For example, Jordan and Magic Johnson have chosen to make a comeback after retiring from the game. Jordan chose to retire in 1993 after completing his first triple crown because his father was murdered. Not only was his No. 23 jersey sealed, but the Bulls also built a statue of him. As a result, Jordan decided to make a comeback in the middle of the 1994-95 season, but at this time his jersey had been retired, and it was mid to late in the season, so he could not apply to the NBA in time to restore the right to use the No. 23 jersey, and he had to temporarily choose the No. 45 jersey. According to his explanation, No. 45 is his brother’s jersey number, he initially chose No. 23 because he always fantasized as a child that he could play half of his brother’s performance would be satisfied. The Bulls 45 jersey sold out as soon as it was launched and became the most sought after jersey in the NBA at the time.

Jordan’s physical condition did not return to its peak state because of his hasty comeback. In the last 18 seconds of the first game of the semifinals of the playoffs, Jordan’s key ball was miserably stolen by Magic guard Anderson, who said after the game, not without glee, “Jordan at No. 45 is no longer him at No. 23.” The deeply stimulated Jordan wore the No. 23 jersey without official approval from the NBA in the second game. Despite winning the game, Jordan was fined by the NBA afterwards, and the NBA jersey supplier soon stopped continuing to make the No. 45 jersey. It was only in the summer of 1995 that Jordan was officially allowed to wear the number 23 jersey again through an NBA application. The NBA decided to give the green light to these famous players who decided to make a comeback, so in the middle of the 1995-96 season, when “Magic” decided to make a comeback, the NBA quickly approved him to rewear the retired Lakers 32 jersey.

Under normal circumstances, the NBA league is very happy to see the stars change their numbers, after all, so that not only can drive the sales of NBA jerseys and other peripheral products, but also can create a lot of public opinion topics for the NBA. So the NBA initially stipulated that as long as players apply to the league to change their jersey numbers before August 15 each year, they can be approved. But as more and more stars see jersey numbers as a key part of rebranding, and even use changing jersey numbers as a tool for media hype, so that not only do stars change their jersey numbers when they join a new team, but more and more stars also start changing their numbers during their time with the same team.

The stars change their numbers at will, often leading to their original jerseys can only be sold at a discount, or even stalled, which allows the NBA to bear a certain economic loss. At the same time, fans are also suffering from this, after all, it needs to constantly shell out real money to buy new jerseys, so players in the same team to play when the practice of changing jerseys frequently makes the NBA very distressed. The typical negative example in this regard is Ron Artest, who later changed his name to Cixi Ping, and the frequency with which he changed his jersey number made the NBA very mad.

Artest has had seven jersey numbers, 15, 23, 91, 93, 96, 37, 51, with the Pacers (15, 23, 91) and Lakers (37, 15), where he changed jersey numbers on a whim. He was drafted by the Bulls in 2000 and chose No. 15, allegedly because his father wore No. 51 in college and he wore No. 15 as a tribute to his father. he was traded by the Bulls to the Pacers in the summer of 2002 to continue wearing No. 15. And after Jordan retired for the third time in the summer of 2003, he decided to wear number 23 in tribute to Jordan in the 2003-04 season, and before the start of the 2004-05 season, he decided to wear number 91 in tribute to his idol and another famous member of the Bulls dynasty, Rodman. It is worth mentioning that Artest wore number 91 during the infamous Palace of Auburn Hills clusterfuck.

The frequent jersey number changes allowed Artest to enjoy huge media attention, which encouraged him to decide to keep changing his jersey number. So in the summer of 2005 he tried to change his jersey number to Pippen’s 33 again, which drove the Pacers crazy in the first place. The Pacers banned him from changing numbers, and team spokesman Frank told the media, “We would not approve of a player changing numbers over and over again, it would be a distraction to the player and unfair to the fans who need to keep buying jerseys.”

After being traded to the Kings, Artest decided to wear No. 93, reportedly because his then-signed sneaker brand K1X was founded in 1993, a move Artest made to thank the brand for its support and trust in him. After joining the Rockets, he switched to No. 96 to pay tribute to his hometown of Queens Bridge, New York, where 9 stands for Q and 6 stands for B. In 2009, he switched to No. 37 after joining the Lakers because it coincided with the death of Michael Jackson, whose “Thriller” album was No. 1 on the U.S. sales charts for 37 weeks. At the end of one season, he immediately changed his number again to No. 15 early in his career. After leaving the Lakers to join his hometown team, the Knicks, he again chose the number 51 jersey worn by his father, and after returning to the Lakers in 2015, he switched to number 37 again.

Artest’s frequent jersey changes are certainly an expression of his own emotional appeal, but in the eyes of the outside world it is more just for the sake of the crowd and overuse of media resources to promote themselves. This is similar to his idol, Rodman later in his career. The Bulls’ No. 10 jersey was retired, so when he joined in 1995, he had to wear No. 91, 9+1=10. And following this logic, he started playing the numbers game. After the disintegration of the Bulls dynasty, he joined the Lakers when he chose No. 73, was swept out by the Lakers and then joined the Mavericks, Rodman applied to wear No. 69, but this number is easy to cause indecent interpretation and was rejected by the NBA officials, so he temporarily decided to wear No. 70. Rodman’s hairstyle, tattoos, and jersey number became the three most eye-catching assets in his late career. In contrast, Artest is even crazier, if even his own name is often changed at any time according to the mood, what is it to change a jersey number?

t is in light of the fact that players like Artest change jerseys frequently for personal gimmicks (mainly on the same team constantly), so the NBA pushed out a new rule in 2013: a player who decides to change his number without transferring must pay for all the jerseys in stock for the original number if he fails to submit his application by the annual March deadline. It is worth noting that the first player to pay for his number change after the new rules were introduced was Paul George, who was playing for the Pacers at the time.

The first person to pay for a new jersey was Paul George, who was playing for the Pacers at the time, because he admired Kobe, so he chose the number 24 jersey when he entered the NBA, and as he became a superstar, he was interested in giving himself a loud nickname as his personal brand, so he hit on the idea of changing his jersey number. Simmons suggested that he change his number to 13 and add his initials PG, giving George the catchy nickname “PG-13”.

It is well known that PG-13 is one of the Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating systems, mainly warning parents that films at this level may contain content unsuitable for children under the age of 13. Paul George’s use of this moniker would highlight his ballistic dominance. George apparently accepted this advice on the spot. As an aside, although George applied for a jersey number change before the March 2013 deadline in accordance with NBA rules, he has since bought his No. 24 jersey and given it to his high school alma mater’s underclassmen as a gift.

Obviously, according to the new rules introduced by the NBA in 2013, James this time in the case of no transfer temporary application to replace the jersey number, it is likely to also have to pay for a number of Lakers 23 jerseys out of their own pockets. But in view of James’s huge influence, perhaps with his announcement to replace the number, his 23 jersey will in turn become a limited edition souvenir thus causing a comprehensive rush. After all, James wore the Lakers No. 23 jersey to complete the scoring list on the total transcendence of Jordan, such a milestone so that only one season of the Lakers No. 23 jersey can still shine.

Of course, in the view of the American media, James through this to the “thick brow” to give up the number 23 is not only to further deepen the friendship with the “thick brow”, but also to the expected to join the Leonard to send a message that, James in order to win the championship There are many sacrifices that can be made. Not only can he give up his iconic number to his teammates, but as long as Leonard and other superstars join, James may be willing to share his locker room privileges, tactical position on the court, and team personnel discourse with them.

Over the years, James has always been criticized for “relying on the formation of the Big Three to win the championship”, but this from another side also reflects James in the NBA stars in a high level of appeal and people, always able to successfully lobby superstars to follow its playing together is also a rare ability. In particular, James took the initiative to transfer the number to the “thick brow”, the outside world unanimously evaluated its emotional intelligence is very high, and his previous active recruiting Leonard when the sincere performance also left a deep impression on Leonard. So the American media generally believe that with James’s high emotional intelligence, his third career success in forming the Big Three will be just around the corner.

One more word, James joined the Lakers when they had made a very high emotional move. Although the Lakers 23 jersey was not retired, he still called Sebalos (who played for the Lakers in the 1994-96 season) who wore the Lakers 23 jersey to show his respect. Now with James decided to switch to wearing number 6, the Lakers in the past through the number 6 jersey of the famous, had been Kobe as a guide to the NBA career Eddie Jones (1994-99 season played in the Lakers) will also receive James’s tribute call?