LeBron James has officially confirmed that he will not only be returning to his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he will also be using his old jersey number (23) once he arrives.
Earlier this month, LeBron James turned to his fans, followers and even critics through his official Instagram profile to ask for help in deciding whether to keep the #6 that he wore during his time with the Miami Heat or return to the #23 that he had been playing with since high school.
Well, apparently it did not take LeBron very long to confirm his decision. Through his Instagram profile yet again, he posted the following message:
23 it is! It’s only right I go back. 2·3=6 We still family 6. #HomeTeam #StriveForGreatnessFollow
LeBron James is clearly trying to make Cleveland happy – especially the people that didn’t burn or throw out his Cavaliers jersey back in 2010. Perhaps the only people in Cleveland that are not very happy with LeBron James because of this decision are the store owners, brands, manufacturers and other vendors that were working on new designs consisting of his #6 jersey.
Many athletes have changed their jersey numbers over the years. For example, do you remember when Kobe Bryant decided to go from #8 to #24? There was not a lot of fuss about it from the press, media or fans. It is clear that LeBron James thought it would be the same type of reaction (or lack thereof) for him. However, LeBron must have forgotten the reason why he changed his jersey number in the first place.
It was not because of the fact that he changed teams. Back in 2009, LeBron James took a stand against any NBA player wearing #23 on their jersey in honor of NBA legend Michael Jordan. According to ESPN, James stated in an interview with TNT:
“If you see 23, you think about Michael Jordan. You see game-winning shots, you think about Michael Jordan; you see guys fly through the air, you think about Michael Jordan; you see fly kicks, you think about Michael Jordan. He did so much, it has to be recognized, and not just by putting him in the Hall of Fame.”
LeBron James then followed that respectful tribute to his childhood idol and hero, Michael Jordan, by making this bold statement:
“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.”
What happened to that viewpoint? Doesn’t the fact that LeBron James is changing his number back to the #23 contradict what he said back in 2009? As of right now, James has not addressed this point at all to the media or even his loyal Instagram followers. Perhaps LeBron James is working on a lengthy essay to write to Michael Jordan the way that he did for the city of Cleveland when announcing his homecoming. What do you think?