LeBron James may get a new jersey number next season, but whether the number will appear on a Cleveland uniform is yet to be seen.
According to ESPN, the NBA superstar recently filed paperwork to switch his jersey number from no. 23 to no. 6 next year, as a tribute to NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Last November, James announced the change, explaining that with all that Jordan has done for the game of basketball, he doesn’t feel any player in the entire league should be fit to wear the iconic no. 23 on their jersey.
He added that he planned to start a petition to retire the number from the league, and planned to get everyone in the NBA to sign it.
“There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn’t Michael Jordan first,” LeBron said last year. “He can’t get the logo [Hall of Famer Jerry West‘s silhouette adorns the NBA’s logo], and if he can’t, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23.”
Just this week, James beat the deadline to file for a number change, revealing that he would officially wear the #6 next season.
“I already sent it in. I’m going to be number six,” he said.
Despite his request for change, the NBA doesn’t have to grant it, said reports. However, if he switches teams next year, since he’ll be a free agent, he can choose any number he wishes.
James, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, will be among the 2010 free agent class.
According to ESPN, both the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks are setting themselves up to make competitive offers to the superstar. But, Cleveland can sign James to a longer, more lucrative deal.