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Steve Levy: LeBron's Number Change...Bothers Me

Steve Levy

Hate to be the first guy in history to take a shot at LeBron James, but I’m not that popular to begin with. Now this has nothing to do with his game, he’s the best player on the planet…that being said, I hate the uniform number change. I’ve always been a big uniform-number guy in all sports and to change it, for whatever reason, bothers me.

In case you missed it, The King has filed the proper paperwork with the league to change his jersey number from 23 to 6. He says it's out of respect to Michael Jordan as he lobbied for the NBA to have Jordan’s 23 retired league-wide. Well Jordan didn’t just retire, in fact, Jordan was long retired before LeBron ever played a single NBA minute…so why now?

The crux of my issue with this is all the kids out there who have LeBron 23 Cavaliers jerseys in their closet. Those things cost a ton of dough and in essence will become obsolete. Young fans don’t understand or appreciate antiques…the only thing they’re going to understand is that their jersey of their favorite player no longer matches the one they see on tv on a nightly basis. Now again, this isn’t just on LeBron, (Kobe did it too, at least Jordan did it after a couple of years of separation when he came out of retirement), for my money this applies to any star athlete in any sport who finds the need to adjust his digits just because he wants to. I don’t care if a scrubini changes his #, nobody’s buying thousands of those.

And my anger also flies out the window should LeBron leave Cleveland for greener (money) pastures. If he’s changing uniforms altogether than who cares if he changes his number? But for him to stay in the same uni and change his number now doesn’t benefit MJ, it only benefits those who make $ from jerseys sold. Now every single kid who cherishes his LeBron 23 jersey is going to want the new 6 uni putting the pressure on whoever bought them the first one to buy them another one. Here’s hoping those of you who disagree or don’t care, don’t have my number.