Will the NBA retire #23 in honor of Michael Jordan?
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James is staring a movement to have #23 retired from the NBA. He would like all current NBA players wearing #23 to give up the number, starting with himself.
Lebron began this story during a post game interview where he said he will switch his jersey number from #23 to #6 in honor of Michael Jordan and what Michael did for the game of basketball.
The story instantly became a hot topic on sports websites and blogs. Many bloggers and fans supported the decision, while others argued that other players before Jordan deserve the same honor.
A while later, during a call to wish Ahmad Rashad a happy birthday, Michael was asked how he felt about Lebron’s decision. He said that he was pleased to hear it, but that it was unnecessary and in fact other players do also deserve the honor. He mentioned Bill Russell, Magic, and Bird as the other candidates.
ESPN also carried the story with MJ’s response.
Magic chimed in on the story in support of the movement. He said in an interview:
“We care about the game. We care about what’s important and so if everybody votes in terms of nobody should wear 23, we’re going to be the first ones to say it should happen.”
“I think we all know how the game was and how it meant and who’s made a difference in the game and Michael has definitely made a big difference in the game,” Johnson also said. “Larry and I started it off and then just like Dr. J and those guys passed it on to us, the baton, and we passed it to Michael and he took the game to a whole other level. So we’re all in favor of that if that’s what everybody wants to do.”
The likely outcome
The NBA is unlikely to make such a decision since the retirement of numbers has always been a team by team decision. However, the gesture has been done in other major sports. Baseball retired #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, and the NHL retired #99 in honor of Wayne Gretzky.
There are currently 12 other players currently wearing #23 in the league.
Stephen Graham – Charlotte Bobcats
C.J. Watson – Golden State Warriors
Marcus Camby – LA Clippers
Jodie Meeks – Milwaukee Bucks
Devin Brown – New Orlean Hornets
Toney Douglas – New York Knicks
B.J. Mullens – Oklahoma Thunder
Lou Williams – Philadelphia 76’ers
Jason Richardson – Phoenix Suns
Martel Webster – Portland Trailblazers
Kevin Martin – Sacramento Kings
Wes Matthews – Utah Jazz
What do you think the NBA will do? Will they retire #23? Please leave your comments below.