Immediately after the Los Angeles Lakers completed a blockbuster deal to acquire Anthony Davis, he revealed that LeBron James gave him his blessing to wear No. 23.
Unfortunately though, due to some technicalities with Nike and jerseys that had already been created and unsold, they did not allow James to switch from No. 23, which he wore in his first season with the Lakers.
So in Davis’ first season, he selected No. 3 while James kept 23, and the result was the franchise’s 17th championship in the Orlando bubble.
The expectation was they would make the switch for this past season but with the short turnaround and condensed season, they ultimately just stuck with their numbers from the championship season.
Changes are finally coming now though as Shams Charania and Tim Cato of The Athletic are reporting that James will switch to the No. 6 he wore with the Miami Heat. In an interesting turn of events though, Davis has decided to stick with No. 3:
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is changing his jersey number from No. 23 to No. 6 next season, sources tell The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tim Cato. Anthony Davis is expected to remain No. 3.
James’ switch to No. 6 has to do with his new movie, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which is set to be released in July. It appears he will be wearing No. 6 in the movie and the real-life switch will become official after the movie release.
It will be interesting to see how the Lakers handle this switch if they end up retiring James’ jersey after he retires, which is likely after he helped bring the franchise its 17th championship.
Kobe Bryant is the only Lakers player to have two different jerseys retired, but he, of course, played 20 seasons and won five championships with the team.
James and Davis both signed extensions last offseason to remain with the Lakers long-term. So even though it didn’t work out this season, they will have more opportunities to bring championships back to L.A. and cement their respective legacies amongst the all-time franchise greats.
Second Space Jam trailer released
It’s no coincidence that James’ number change report comes on the same day the second trailer of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” was released. The full trailer can be viewed HERE.
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