LeBron James Returns To No. 23: Lakers Star Makes Jersey Number Change For 21st NBA Season

Photo: Instagram/LeBron James

LeBron James, the renowned basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, has made the decision to change his jersey number back to No. 23 for the upcoming NBA season, marking his 21st season in the league.

This move comes after James briefly switched to No. 6 for the 2021-22 season. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the 38-year-old superstar will be returning to the familiar No. 23 for the fourth time in his career, with his last stint in that number being during the 2020-21 season.

The choice to switch back to No. 23 was entirely LeBron James' decision, as confirmed by Rich Paul, the CEO of Klutch Sports Group. Paul also mentioned that James made the change out of respect for the legendary Bill Russell.

Photo: Instagram/LeBron James

In the previous season, James had worn No. 6 as a tribute to Russell, who passed away in July 2022. Russell's iconic No. 6 had been retired league-wide to honor his legacy. With James donning the No. 23 once again, there will undoubtedly be a significant increase in attention surrounding the NBA's all-time leading scorer as he enters his 39th year.

Interestingly, both No. 6 and No. 23 carry tremendous historical significance for James. The No. 6 was iconic during his tenure with the Miami Heat and in the Olympics, while the No. 23 holds sentimental value as the number he wore during several seasons throughout his career.

When James last wore No. 23, he displayed remarkable performance, averaging 30.3 points (the second-highest average of his career), 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 56 games. This was for a Lakers team that finished with a 33-49 record, a season removed from their NBA title victory.

As the future Hall of Famer embarks on another season in Tinseltown, it remains to be seen if he can replicate similar statistics. One thing is certain: James will be determined to prevent a repeat of the Lakers' collapse following their appearance in the 2023 Western Conference finals.

Fans will eagerly watch as James continues to make his mark on the court, now wearing the iconic No. 23 once again.

Read Next: Masataka Yoshida Makes History: Joins Ted Williams As First Red Sox Player In Decades To Achieve Remarkable Milestone

Source: Sports Illustrated


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