There are many legendary players who have left their mark on the NBA. But only a few of them have been “married” to their jersey numbers, and they never changed them throughout their careers. Some prominent examples are Michael Jordan and his love of number 23, and Magic Johnson and his famous number 32 jersey. And of course, Kobe and his iconic #8 and #24 jerseys hanging from the rafters of the Staples Center. Likewise, LeBron James (LeBron James) loves to write the number 23 on the back of his jersey.
Just like any other kid, LeBron grew up admiring Michael Jordan. Like Jordan’s desire to succeed, LeBron chose to wear the number 23 jersey from high school. We all know that “his air” likes to have numbers on his back, and so does LeBron. Throughout his high school career, he represented the Fighting Irish, also known as St. Vincent. The Mary’s men’s basketball team, LeBron excelled in the jersey number, which is credited to MJ.
So the story of LeBron wearing No. 23 began in his early days. So, when he entered the NBA as a teenager, he had the same tradition. He was considered the “chosen one”, a newer, younger version of Michael Jordan.
LeBron became the new number 23 in the league and the savior of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since his rookie season, LeBron has forged a deep bond with the Cavaliers, and that bond has remained strong for many years.
After establishing himself in the business, LeBron decided to leave the Cavaliers and take his chances elsewhere. Compared to Jordan, he had to win a championship ring, which was not feasible with the Cavaliers.
LeBron James’ decision really shocked everyone.
In 2010, LeBron James turned everyone’s head when he announced his decision to leave the Cavaliers. James said he would join the Miami Heat to play alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. But the shocking news doesn’t stop there.
Over the years, LeBron has worn No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan, trying to emulate his childhood idol. But when LeBron decided to play for the Heat, he ditched No. 23 in favor of No. 6. James publicly stated his decision to change his stats and mentioned that he made the decision out of respect for Michael Jordan.
“I just think what Michael Jordan did for the game has to be recognized somehow soon,” James said of his decision. “Without Michael Jordan, there would be no LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade.”
That transition has been a huge success. The Heat made four straight Finals appearances and back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014. number 6 shined brightly in sunny Miami, winning them two championships.
From No. 6 back to No. 23
So, what was the motivation for switching back to his original number? When LeBron announced he was returning to Cleveland, he also said he would come back the same way he left. 23 returned to the team, this time more eager to win a championship.
LeBron kept his promise to his hometown, winning the first NBA championship in Cavs history. It was like a fairy tale when No. 23 left them to embark on a different journey and succeed there. Cavaliers fans hated his move to Miami. They couldn’t accept the move and about 10 years ago there were wild displays of discontent everywhere.
But he’s back, and so is No. 23. So far, LeBron has kept his favorite number, and that’s why he loves basketball. He was happy to reveal that he wears the number in honor of his hero, Michael Jordan.
“So when I started playing basketball, I thought, ‘Gosh, that 23 looks good. I want to be able to fly like him.'” James said. He talks like any other avid MJ fan. “I want to be able to dunk on guys like him. I want to be able to stick my tongue out in the air like he did and yell in people’s faces like MJ did.'”