Why LeBron James' Number Change Is Significant For The Summer

So LeBron James has filed the necessary paperwork to the NBA to petition to change his number from 23 to 6. The stated reason is to pay respect to Michael Jordan, but considering Julius Erving and Bill Russell wore number 6 themselves, there’s probably a business side to the move, as Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski writes.

No matter the motives, though, the decision has a lot of impact on James’ summer decision. As Michael Lee of the Washington Post tweets:

Surprised few focusing on real story w/LeBron changing #s from 23 to 6: If he plans to change teams, he wouldn’t have to make request w/NBA

Well well well. Lee makes a good point: if James was really intent on leaving the Cavaliers, why would he go through the trouble of submitting paperwork for a number change? He wouldn’t have to waste his time doing all that if he was sure he was switching teams.

On the other hand, as Brian Windhorst originally tweeted above, the deadline for number change petitions is Friday, so James didn’t have the luxury of waiting until the summer. So maybe this is nothing to write home about. Perhaps it would have been big news only if he missed the deadline.

Either way, though, based on this news, we at least know that LeBron’s probably considering a return to Cleveland. For now at least.

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