Michael Jordan was ranked number 23. Allen Iverson is three years old. Bird was 33, while Magic was 32. That's why a change in the number always makes the news. Whether it's LeBron James' switch to No. 6, or his return to No. 23, or Paul George's switch to 13, setting up a great "PG-13" moniker, jersey numbers are fascinating.
No player has ever had their number retired by an NBA team. The only other number that gets retired is #44, which is reserved for former players who have cancer.
In basketball, each team is allowed two players on the court at a time, so many players have multiple numbers available. Here are the remaining numbers not already assigned: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43.
In addition to these numbers, teams can wear jerseys with patches to honor people such as alumni, coaches, and important games in franchise history.
Jersey numbers start at 100 for boys teams and 98 for girls teams. Then they go up sequentially across the board.
In an interview, James claimed that the man himself, Michael Jordan, was the biggest motivation for him picking the number 23. He called the NBA star a "God" and said he was the inspiration for his whole career. James also mentioned that it took him a long time to finally pick the number because he didn't want to pick anything like everyone else in the league at the time.
Jordan had already worn numbers 0 and 1 when he played for the Chicago Bulls, so number 2 was left vacant. Number 2 has been worn by several other players since then, including Ralph Sampson, who many consider to be the greatest power forward of all time.
James' decision to wear number 23 instead of trying to follow in Sampson's footsteps has made him a fan favorite from the start. The number has also become extremely popular with fans over the years, probably due to the fact that it has not been used by any other player.
Number 23 has won three championships so far, more than anyone else ever. It came as no surprise then that James decided to keep the number when he joined the Miami Heat in 2014.
When it comes to why number 23 is considered perfect for basketball, there are two schools of thought: science and history.
The Importance of the Famous Number 23: Michael Jordan's Jersey In the realm of basketball, the number "23" has a lot of meaning. LeBron James is now wearing the number on his Lakers jersey. Michael Jordan, on the other hand, is the man who made the number appear divine. He wore number 23 during his entire career with the Chicago Bulls.
Number 23 was originally used by Bill Russell in the 1956 NBA Draft when he chose it for himself. The Celtics were about to go into the draft straight from their last championship season so they needed some new numbers. Russell was asked by the media why he chose such a rare number for himself. His reply: "Why not?"
He proved to be a great choice because that number has been very beneficial for him throughout his career. As a player on the Boston Celtics, he had the opportunity to wear numbers 1-11 consecutively. However, none of those numbers seemed appropriate for him so he picked number 23 instead.
In 1997, after he ended his retirement, Michael Jordan returned to play for the Chicago Bulls. One of the many surprises this year was that he was given the number 2 by the team. This number has special meaning for him because it represents his first season with the Bulls and the beginning of his legendary career.
So, number 23 has played a major role in the careers of two great players.
The number 23 is well-known since it is worn by two of the greatest basketball players in history. He wore the number 6 with the Miami Heat before switching back when he returned to Cleveland. LeBron may have worn the number 23 for the Heat, but the Miami Heat organization retired it. Meaning, no other player will ever wear that number again.
Basketball isn't the only sport that uses numbers as identifiers for its players. In baseball, there are nine other numbers that can be worn by a player at any one time. In addition to these numbers on the backs of their jerseys, players can also be identified by name or logo on the front of their jerseys.
In hockey, there are also nine other numbers that can be worn by a player at any one time. Like baseball, names or logos can be found on the fronts of hockey jerseys too.
In sum, there are nine other numbers that can be worn by a player at any one time in two different professional sports leagues. This shows that number 23 is not exclusive to LeBron James; instead, it has been opened up for use by others.