James: You Better Change Your Number, Too

Have you ever had a friend who one day decided to start living healthier, behaving like a mature adult, and generally just be a better person? Don’t those people suck? I say yes.

At least when they start prescribing behaviors for other people. Like, it’s fine to "do the right thing" and make a personal homage to Michael Jordan, but good ole Lebron just can’t help himself when it comes to hubris. From the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, ’Bron explains the number change:

"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon," James said. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn’t Michael Jordan first.

…Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it."

Really? But what about Stephen Graham, Louis Williams, and Devin Brown? Tom Ziller at Fanhouse outlines the guys Lebron would have to convince:

It’s a bit hilarious that LeBron has decided that because he wants to respect MJ by abandoning No. 23, the entire league should do the same. But it’s par for the course, and understood: if any other player had made such a proclamation without LeBron being on-board, we’d be pointing and laughing at them.

All that said, which players currently wear No. 23? Basketball-Reference has the answer:

Devin Brown, Marcus Camby, Toney Douglas, Stephen Graham, Kevin Martin, Wes Matthews, Jodie Meeks, Jason Richardson, C.J. Watson, Martell Webster, Louis Williams.

Five starters, only three of which (Camby, Richardson and Martin) are "name" players. Three rookies. A couple of a bit players. LeBron is clearly the major hurdle in getting No. 23 retired

And does Lebron remember, like a month ago, when we actually DID honor Michael Jordan? Yeah, that didn’t go over so well… And while his idea isn’t that bad—he’s not the first to suggest that the NBA retire number 23 altogether—it does strike me as obnoxious that he’d assume his deference should prompt the rest of the league to change their jerseys, too. Then again, it’s Lebron James: should we really be surprised?


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