For most of us, when we see an NBA player wearing #23 – we associate that with one person – Michael Jordan.
The greatest to ever grace the hardwood (or not, depending on your view), Jordan was the player current pro basketball players idolized growing up. They pretended to be Jordan playing hoops in their driveway. They asked for his shoes during holidays. They had a Bulls jersey, even if they weren’t a Bulls fan. Jordan was the NBA.
I say was because it appears the youth of today’s current NBA generation grew up idolizing a different player – LeBron James.
Yes, you can feel extremely old now.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, when quizzed about his jersey number said it wasn’t in honor of Jordan like most would have assumed, rather LeBron as Beal said he grew up idolizing the Miami Heat star:
“I never watched Michael Jordan growing up,” said Beal, in a recent episode of Wizards Magazine. “I grew up, ‘23’ was LeBron. I always knew about Michael Jordan, but I can’t necessarily model myself after him. I always admired LeBron and the way he played all the time when he was in Cleveland.”
Beal of course doesn’t wear #23 now as that’s unofficially retired in Washington, but wore the number throughout his amateur days.