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Jersey sure

8/15/2010

Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

Being former teammates might have helped Jermaine O'Neal grab Marquis Daniels' old number.Looks like Jermaine O'Neal got his No. 7 jersey after all.

O'Neal said he planned to wear the familiar number when he signed with the Celtics last month. Trouble was Marquis Daniels already owned that shirt and re-signed with the team a short time after. Fortunately for O'Neal, Daniels' Twittered earlier this month that he was swapping numbers next season, which freed up No. 7 for his former -- and new -- teammate.

The Celtics said last week that new numbers weren't official yet, but according to an updated online roster, Daniels appears to have bumped up a spot to No. 8. Hopefully a new number will provide a fresh start after a forgettable 2009-10 season that was derailed by a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Jersey selection is no simple task in Boston, where 21 jerseys currently hang in the rafters, all of which fall between 00 (Robert Parish) and 35 (Reggie Lewis).

Shaquille O'Neal selected No. 36, becoming the first Celtics player to don that jersey (in fact, no player has worn Nos. 36-39). The Big Shamrock explained his decision last Tuesday, saying, "Actually, there was kind of a simple way of figuring it out: I’ve always been in the 30’s, this is my sixth team that I’m with, so 36.”

During their introductory press conferences, Avery Bradley held up a No. 0 jersey (prying it away from Oliver Lafayette, who wore it for one game last year), while Luke Harangody chose No. 55 (which has famous previous owners like Wally Szczerbiak, Dwayne Schintzius, Zan Tabak and Eric Williams).

Here's a quick rundown on other jersey numbers if the online roster holds through training camp:

  • Semih Erden held up a No. 86 jersey (his birth year) at his introductory press conference back in 2008, but appears set to shift to No. 50 this year, the same shirt he wore during Boston's summer league in Orlando. Erden wore No. 9 for his Turkish team last season, but is unlikely to wrestle that one from Rajon Rondo.

  • Lafayette is listed as No. 40, also the number he wore in summer league. He's definitely got a thing for the "0" numbers after wearing No. 20 in college and No. 10 early in his NBA Development League career (he also wore No. 21 last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants). Michael Finley wore No. 40 last season.

  • The Celtics have not posted a number for Von Wafer, but the guess here is that he'll grab No. 13 (he wore that in Houston), which was vacated by the departure of Shelden Williams. The other shirts he's worn during his NBA travels -- Nos. 22, 23 and 24 -- are all retired by the Green (for Ed Macauley, Frank Ramsey and Sam Jones, respectively).