LeBron James is going back to his old ways, again.
The NBA’s all-time points leader is changing his jersey number from 6 to his original 23.
James wore number 23 during his two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but when he brought his talents to South Beach, he reverted to number 6.
When James returned to Cleveland, so did No. 23. He kept it briefly when he first signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, but returned to No. 6 for the 2021-22 season.
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James’ agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN that he will give up the number 6 in honor of Bill Russell. Shortly after the 11-time NBA champion died last year, the association announced that his number 6 would be retired league-wide.
However, those already using the number were able to continue using it, as James did. Similarly, MLB players already wearing the 42 when the leagues retired it for Jackie Robinson in 1997 were protected. Mariano Rivera was wearing the number when the announcement was made and was able to wear it until his retirement in 2013, becoming the last person to wear it in MLB history.
James is entering his 21st NBA season after he said he briefly considered retirement.
«The truth is, I’ve been asking myself this late-season question for a couple of years. I’ve never really talked about it openly,» James admitted at the ESPYs earlier this week.
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«I don’t care how many more points I score or what I can and can’t do on the court. The real question for me is ‘Can I play without cheating in this game?’ The day I can’t give it my all on the ground is the day I’ll finish.
«Luckily for you, that day is not today.»
At 37 and 38 years old last season, his 20th, James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists.