NBA: LeBron wants No. 23 retired league-wide
NEW YORK ó LeBron James may persuade NBA players to give up their No. 23s, but a leaguewide retirement of Michael Jordan’s number seems unlikely.
James said that he is considering switching his number next season and wants other players to do the same in honor of Jordan, the Hall of Famer who is often regarded as the league’s best player ever.
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.
The NBA has no policy preventing every player wearing No. 23 from petitioning for a change, but players generally have to wear a number five years before they can switch.
There are 13 No. 23s in the NBA, though James is the only superstar.
“Pat Riley made it known years back, when he said that every team should retire Michael Jordan’s number,” said Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, who played with Jordan in Washington. “He’s the most dominant player that every played the game.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who coached Jordan in Chicago, endorsed the idea, though noted it might be “a little step on the toes for a guy like Magic (Johnson) or (Larry) Bird.”