When LeBron James was drafted into the NBA, he decided to wear No. 23 to honor his favorite player and NBA legend, Michael Jordan. It was a fitting tribute, but one that ended after LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.
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Urged by Miami Heat president Pat Riley after a courtside conversation with Jordan, LeBron James decided that he would no longer wear the number. James would later suggest that his decision was partly in hopes to have the NBA retire Jordan’s famed jersey number around the league but for whatever reason, the NBA opted not to do so.
Given that, when LeBron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers he opted to return to his former number as well.
So how does Michael Jordan feel about LeBron’s uniform number?
While having your jersey retired by a league is an incredibly impressive accomplishment, it’s something that Michal Jordan knows will eventually happen. For now, I have to imagine it’s just as cool for Jordan to see guys like LeBron James wearing his former jersey number in honor of him.
With the advancement in technology, younger generations will always be able to keep up with Michael Jordan thanks to YouTube, but there will be a time when he’s replaced by LeBron and other younger stars. Young players will eventually be opting to wear a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James jersey to honor their hero, not Jordan. So I have to imagine he’s fine with how things are currently shaking out and when the time comes, he’ll enjoy a league-wide retirement of his No. 23 jersey.