Michael Jordan: I don't own a number

Updated: July 28, 2014, 3:14 PM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

Michael Jordan has no problem with LeBron James returning to No. 23 in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I'm cool with it,'' Jordan told ESPN.com via text message Monday morning. "I don't own a number.''

Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, wore No. 23 during his legendary playing career. James idolized Jordan growing up and wore No. 23 during his first seven seasons with the Cavaliers.

But after leaving Cleveland and joining the Miami Heat four years ago, James switched to No. 6, saying it was as a tribute to Jordan. He announced he would change numbers in November of 2009, his last season in Cleveland.

"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon,'' James, who had worn No. 23 since his sophomore year in high school, said at the time. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no 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.''

James did not contact Jordan before deciding to return to No 23. James announced his number choice on his Instagram account Sunday, also sharing the link on his Twitter account.

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