LeBron James said Thursday that Michael Jordan’s No. 23 should be retired league wide and that he was considering changing next season to No. 6.
Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 and the NHL did the same with Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99, but that hasn’t been done in the NBA. Spokesman Tim Frank said on Saturday that “retiring a player’s number is a decision that has been made by the teams” and not the league.
“I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon.” James said after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Heat in Miami with Jordan sitting courtside. “There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade if there wasn’t Michael Jordan first.
“He can’t get the logo, and if he can’t, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I’m starting a petition, and I’ve got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.”
There are 13 No. 23s in the NBA, though James is the only superstar. Right now, Jordan’s 23 is retired by the Bulls and the Heat. The NBA doesn’t have any number retired league wide. Should 23, in honor of Jordan, be the first?