Friday, November 13th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  183 responses

LeBron Wants NBA to Retire the Number 23

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

It’s not enough for LeBron James to change his jersey number. He doesn’t want anyone else in the League to wear the 2-3. Ever again.

LeBron, who’s worn MJ’s old number since he came into the League, says he’s going to drop it in favor of another former high-flyer’s jersey digit. And he wants everyone to follow suit.

From the Plain Dealer:

Out of respect to Michael Jordan, who sat courtside and watched James score 34 points, James said he is planning on switching his number after this season from No. 23 to No. 6. It just sort of came out, but it was obvious he’s been thinking about it for a while. And James wants to lead a movement to get every player who wears No. 23 in the league to give it up as a tribute to Jordan.

“I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon,” James said. “There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn’t Michael Jordan first. He can’t get the logo, and if he can’t, something has to be done. 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.”

Despite this seemingly coming out of the total blue, it’s not the first time the subject of LeBron possibly switching jersey numbers has been brought up, so it’s probably safe to say that this isn’t some off-the-wall decision on his part.

It remains to be seen if he can the rest of the players in the League to agree with him, but the idea is commendable.

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  • Yesse

    Come on LeBron.Just cause you met MJ at the game doesnt mean this has to happen.Did MJ put the same thing on him as Chamillionaire?

  • Ken

    Next thing you know, he’s going to want everybody to start calling him “Earl.”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    “He can’t get the logo, because Slam already gave it to me.” Is what he should’ve said there.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I think The Sternbot should have been the one to make this happen, but good for Lebron (the most famous 23 in basketball today) to say what should be an institution. NBA Jersey sales will be off the charts next season with a potnetial new team and new number for Bron too.

  • Clay

    I think K-Mart is going to be the hardest to convince…

  • Clay

    Bron should wear 45 for the rest of the season or is that going to retired by the league as well?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    One of the first things out of LeBron’s mouth recently that I completely agree with. 99 should never be worn by a hockey player and 23 shouldn’t be worn by a basketball player period.

  • MattM

    I don’t think it makes sense to retire a jersey number league wide. We might have to start retiring number 13 for Wilt, number 33 for Cap, and so on. It is a nice gesture but not a good call.

  • capostat

    “I feel like no NBA player should wear 23.”

    Are you serious?!

    So ONLY when Lebron decides he feels this way. Very strange thing for him to say. If someone else felt this way (and I know fans did) when Lebron was coming into the league, would he have been complied?

  • capostat

    *EDIT: strike out that “been” at the end.

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    I think they should also no. 12, Jordan wore that too.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Out context this made him sound like an a hole. But seriously this is a great idea and good for him. Everyone should get behind this.

  • NUPE

    Now this just doesn’t make any sense at all. I understand a team retiring a # but not the league. I would argue that Dr. J had more impact on the game than MJ. So Dr. J’s # would make more sense for the league to retire (and I don’t think that should happen either). MJ sorta passed the baton to Bron/Kobe/Wade, just like Magic/Bird passed it to him and Dr. J to them and so on.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Cap and Wilt are no MJ.

  • LBJ23

    I think he should for MJ but I dont think he should

  • knock knock

    LOL lebron’s an idiot. Talks about himself in third person, “what mj did to the game…there would be no lebron james, kobe bryant, etc.” This guy is way too full of himself. Lebron’s wore the number 23 for 7 years, and didn’t care at any point that he was wearing the number of jordan. In fact, he prollie picked the number just to get more hype. He’s a loser.

  • Robert

    First off, this is Lebron’s strategy to have his jersey as no.1 all over the world just like what Kobe’s jersey is right now. Please Lebrick, don’t use Michael as an excuse for your marketing strategy and even if you switch jersey numbers many will still hate you and it will not change until you become less full of yourself. Lastly, I love Michael and I respect him so much but the league has got to move on. Michael’s been gone for almost a decade and the league has been doing pretty well since he retired. We have many stars and living legends that are still playing in the league and we should let them have their moment as oppose to always going back to Michael Jordan and letting his huge shadow reign on the parade of this generations best players. Its just unfair to the Kobe’s, the Lebron’s, the KG’s, and the Wade’s of today. So I say don’t mandatory retire his jersey in other arenas. The NBA is still bigger than Michael Jordan.

  • http://claydefayette@yahoo.com CDef28

    23 is only a number. Everyone knows who the real 23 is anyway. If I were a player today, I wouldn’t have MJ’s number, but players are free to have the number (as of right now, maybe Stern will retire 23 just because LeBron wants him to).

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Good stuff, Lebron. Don’t know if it’ll happen, but a pretty good show of respect.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    He is just saying this because he’s gonna sign with the heat next year and he won’t be able to wear it anyway.

  • kev

    it’s just a number! isn’t mikes billions enough of a tribute?

  • Kris

    Thats a tough call and its a respectable idea but I don’t think it will happen. @NUPE …. good point man.

  • Dagger

    The way some people can find some way to hate ANYTHING about Lebron or Kobe is just amazing/sad to me. I mean really, Lebron originally picked 23 because Jordan was his childhood idol, you don’t think he’s serious about this? I think it’s commendable.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    They should retire 6 league-wide for Bill Russell before they retire 23. Change numbers if you wan’t, ‘Bron, but your reasoning is suspect.

  • MooButter

    Lebron is not the first one to propose the league retire 23 league wide. He’s making the change to his lucky number and doing it because he idolizes MJ. Sort of ironically, that was the same reason he started wearing 23, because he idolizes him. Now that he has matured some, he has found a new way to honor the man who inspired him to one of the best basketball players in the world. What’s wrong with that? Posters like Knock Knock and Robert would bask Lebron if he came out and said he was donating $100 Million to cancer research.

  • MooButter

    *bash. Sorry

  • Jeronimo

    “if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it” A humble man, this Mr James.

  • http://www.slamonline.com 360vue

    MJ definitely deserves it in my view, but MJ was already drafted a couple of years before I was born so hes obvs my biggest influence. LBJ definitely has several motives here though, a PR move like this is definitely calculated, despite the article saying it ‘slipped out’. Not a fan of how he thinks HE decides the time when everyone should stop wearing 23, coincedentally in the run up to a contract year

  • Robert

    Are some guys here really going to pretend that Lebron is doing this out of respect for MJ? If he it was about respect he should have done this a long time ago and @Moo, do you really believe with all of your heart that Lebron is a mature guy? Please my precocious little brother is probably more mature than that brat.

  • clib

    Maybe he plans on signing in chi town this summer. Dint think they suld retire the number, how else are players going to be like mike, too many players wear the number right now, its not like greztky, he was the only one to wear it (minus some nobody)

  • sixersforlife_85

    I like it, but only as an unofficial rule. I don’t want the league to do this officialy, banning everyone from wearing it, but if it’s unoffical and just through the respect of the players towards Jordan then I agree 100% with LeBron which is a first.

  • knock knock

    Moo- so im guessing you think lebron is the kinda guy to donate 100 mill to cancer research huh??? LOL

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Retiring a number for a team is reasonable. But doing it league-wide is simply redonculous. I mean, at this rate, all numbers will eventually be retired. Why not just start having jerseys with 3 digits?

  • knock knock

    seriously though, you can’t be serious that LEBRON of all people is saying no one should be wearing 23, as he’s been wearing it every day he’s been in the nba AND just now wants to change, so everyone else should?? Lebrons about lebron.

  • MaxyB

    I think its a good idea. It doesn’t need to be “officially” retired by the league for people not to wear it. As long as its recognized and known people will just respect it, or get shunned and pressured to switch numbers if they do wear it.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Bengtson: it’s only suspect if you don’t consider MJ the most influential basketball player ever and NOT on par with Gretzky. Like a number change would have any influence on him leaving Cleveland or not. C’mon now. If he wants to leave, he’ll do so regardless of the number on hsi back.

  • Robert

    Let’s not make Michael a Kim Jong Il or a Chairman Mao.

  • Exile

    Retire 23. I know its not that original (with the NHL setting the trend), but really…. RETIRE 23.

  • burnt_chicken

    If Lebron wanted to respect the game he wouldn’t move to 6.

    Russell is the greatest champion the league has ever seen. The fact that he has more rings than fingers bears this out quite loudly.

    If he really wanted to respect the game James would take 31.

  • Hoodsnake

    He’s signing with the bulls duh!!!

  • bakers’ dozen

    Reading the entire story…he says he wants to wear #6 because of Dr. J…LeBron, Dr J did as much for hoops in the 70′s as MJ has done since then. There would be no MJ if not for Dr J OR David Thompson for that matter. Choose another number.

  • RM24

    ” “I feel like no NBA player should wear 23.” Are you serious?! So ONLY when Lebron decides he feels this way. Very strange thing for him to say. If someone else felt this way (and I know fans did) when Lebron was coming into the league, would he have been complied? ”

    I def agree with capostat.

    He sounds like such an ass saying “Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.” … As if he is God or something…

  • Myung

    Teams with the #6 retired: Boston, Orlando, Philly, Phoenix, and Sacramento. So…I guess Kings fans (all 3 of you) can forget about LeBron coming to play for your team… unless you un-tire #6, which, for those keeping score at home, was retired for the fans (6th man).

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    LeBron should change his number to $.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Why all the hate? This is one of the first non-d!ckish things he’s said in a long time!

  • http://www.facebook.com 9Steele9

    LOL “out of respect”?!
    Breaking News: After 7 Years in the NBA, LeBron Finds Respect for Jordan

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    LOL Brad Long. I was about to say he should just change it to !.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Maybe he knows he can’t live up to the real 23. Just playing, Bron fans! (I’m serious, though)
    Re. the L-wide retirement of the number — sure, why not. Mike definitely deserves it and we all know his ego needs boosting from time to time. Maybe this will help Chamillionaire (sp?) catch a break next time.

  • http://thacorner.net/forums/ Kevin

    I don’t think the league should retire MJ’s number, maybe give him the logo but not retire his number.

  • doyouwantmore

    Never should have taken number 23 in the first place, bonehead. This IS a marketing thing, but he’s right to call for 23 to be retired. I almost had respect for LBJ as a stand up guy until he said “now if I won’t wear 23 no one else can”

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    The ultimate tribute to MJ would be to play for the Bullies. Of course… he wouldn’t be able to wear No. 23 in that situation.

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  • http://slamonline.com tina

    Chuck says some crazy stuff sometimes but i totally agreed with what he said yesterday. No need to retire his number league wide.

  • will

    with all due respect, Dr J, Magic, Larry, Cap, Wilt, Bill revolutionize the game inside the court and was extremely successful, but they didn’t internationalize the game, push it up the mainstream or transcends the game the way MJ did.
    The global popularity and money that NBA enjoy right now is by far due to Jordan.

    Retire 23 like Slick Riley did

  • pennydunk_1

    Then MJ will make a petition to retire Walter Davis’ #6, DJ’s #32 and D. Thompson’s #33

  • LeoneL

    What does retiring number 23 even mean? Hell, if LeBron is better than Mike (which is not the case), I’d still associate 23 with Mike…as would any NBA fan.

    And that last part about no one should wear 23 because he won’t, makes me think he’s a guy who thinks so high of himself…Put Eboy in that body of yours or any good Slam regular commenter and he’ll definitely win a chip.

    I’m drunk.

  • alapatrick

    how convenient.. miami has already retired this number :P

  • Addam

    Nike is behind this.Somehow.

  • filly

    kobe should be able to wear number 23 because he is better than lebron

  • http://www.yahoo.com logues

    bron is just tryin to suck up for all the other dumb stuff hes said and done so ppl will stop hating him

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    9Steele9 Posted: Nov.13 at 12:17 pm
    LOL “out of respect”?!
    Breaking News: After 7 Years in the NBA, LeBron Finds Respect for Jordan

    That made me laugh.

  • heartlandG


  • http://Slamonline Robert

    I agre with lebron sometimes the glory goes a way I say lebron get your in the game and it wouldn’t a doubt

  • http://celticknightk3@aol.com Celtic Knight

    Lebron apparently doesn’t know Celtic Legends and we as the Celtics cannot retire 23 because we have already did for Frank Ramsey “Kentucky Colonel” so if the whole league does this Celtics would be the only team that couldn’t do it. This is a nice idea but it’s not happening. Like the gentleman said earlier Bill Russell should be respected first because he is the greatest champion in all time history.

  • la huey

    I like what MLB did with #42 but I don’t like what NHL did with #99 or what Lebron is proposing with #23. What Jackie Robinson did had an impact on the league AS WELL AS American society. 99 and 23 had a huge impact on their sport but to society at large, it was just commercial. Hockey and basketball players should just have an unofficial recognition that they have no business wearing those legendary numbers.

  • karma

    It took him SEVEN YEARS to respect MJ. How the EFF are you people not seeing throgh this phony? He just wants a jersey sale increase because he doesn’t want to be second to Kobe.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    cosign will 2X

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    michael jordan had a huge impact on the American Economy and culture in general. there is more then one way to make a significant impact on society.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    it took him 7 years to respect MJ? Why would him deciding that now make you say something so ignorant. He has worn the number his whole playing career including HS. and he picked the Number out of respect. YOu haters are idiots

  • Rich

    As others have already suggested, this reeks of an apparel-shifting marketing ploy. How on earth can LeBron spout this nonsense whilst saying that his decision to wear no. 6 is in part a tribute to Dr. J? Are we to assume Julius Erving just falls short of the level of greatness required for LeBron to call for the league-wide retirement of his number? Also, LeBron’s snide remark about the NBA not making Jordan its logo (yeah, as if we don’t see enough of Mike’s sillhouette)shows a total lack of respect for Jerry West.

    Screw you, LeBron: I’m off to put on my no 23 Cedric Ceballos Suns jersey.

  • james

    i swear deshaun i have tattoos on my face stevenson and another guy just requested to change their number to 23…
    so much for the whole league following suite eh.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    co-sign nbk. the iq level on these boards is dropping by the weeks.

  • la huey

    i see your point, nbk. but you do know what i mean on the difference between jackie and michael, right? one impacts color lines, while with mike i see it as pop culture.

  • heartlandG

    Z U Suck!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh huey i get that for sure. i don’t even know where i stand on the retire his number side. I understand both arguments, I just feel like if you retire Michael’s 23 your erasing the memory of every other player who has worn that number previously. I actually don’t find retiring numbers to be that special. Thats what the hall is for. Instead of retiring numbers each team should have a similar system to the Suns ring of honor.

  • BigShotBob24

    Bron shouldn’t have had the audacity to wear 23 in the first place. We all know he’s been trying to be The Next One his entire career. The move isn’t “commendable.” It’s way overdue, and seems more than a little disingenuous.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    yeah bob, i mean how does Kevin Martin, Marcus Camby, Jason Richardson, CJ Watson, and Louis Williams have the audacity to wear the same number as Michael Jordan…. i mean i bet you don’t have the audacity to even play basketball out of respect for the guy. wow

  • UnRel

    maybe it’s because jay-z said death to auto tune.. LBJ had to do something similar.. come on guys.. isn’t that obvious?

  • la huey

    also, the haters need to at least sound like you thought out your attacks. this whole “he decided after 7 years” thing is silly. he was a kid when he picked that number. who didn’t have tendencies, behaviors, hobbies, etc as a kid that they didn’t change when they grew up? dude, hasn’t even turned 25 yet.

  • http://NBA.com Miss Kelly

    If you retire MJ’s #23 leaguewide, then you should retire Wilt, Russell, Dr. J, Big O, Kareem, etc. leaguewide also. Michael Jordan didn’t revolutionize basketball all by himself. “If I don’t wear #23 then nobody should wear it” is certainly a humble statement by Lebron – Who is he.

  • http://myspace.com/rsaenz24 rog123

    Are you guys ever gonna apreciate anything LeBron does???? I am not saying to worship him, but at least respect him as a person who is trying to honor THE basketball GOD

  • knock knock

    to all those callin people “haters” – You do realize that lebron wore that number entering the league because he wanted to “respect” michael. So why the change?? LOL come up with somethin besides slurping lebrons schlong. dummmies.

  • Steve

    The hate stems from the fact that Lebron will get more $ from changing numbers and selling more jerseys

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    LeBron pisses me off sometimes when he says things like this to make him self the good boy and think about what LeBron just said so much of this is for him. His jersey sales would go nuts next season and his shoe sales simply because he will put the number 6 on them. But imagine what would happened with Jordans sales. The number 23 would be on everi product in ever possible way and people would go crazy for it. There are so many other greats that should have their number retired league wide then. Besides MJ dont deserve this after what he did to chamillionaire.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    actually LeBron does not see any money from the sale of his jerseys that is not specified in his contract. Cleveland or whoever he plays for will see the profit not LeBron…. so steve all the hate is still ignorant.

  • la huey

    @knock knock, i think you once said its a p***y move for lebron to block someone’s shot from behind (or maybe it was that he should only block his own assignment’s shot). if i’m totally wrong in my recollection, i apologize.

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    I think it’s a good idea to retire the number league wide. Come on guys.. everyone who plays basketball that wears 23 is either the best player on the team or a ball hog who is a gunner… so let’s stop this, everyone wants to be like MJ that rocks that number.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Marcus Camby wears 23, he is neither a ball hog or the best player on his team. whata a whack generalization.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    Look for DeShawn Stevenson so switch to 23 next year.

  • Sean

    LeBron is full of it. He wants to “respect” MJ by disrespecting Doc & Russell. Now he issues “edicts” to command his subjects to change their numbers. Then, after the game, had the nerve to put his dunk over DJones and DWade’s dunk on Varejao in the top 10 all-time. Hope he goes to NY and loses every game 145-150!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    all you people act like you don’t think your good at something, like you are always humble. its just another excuse for haters to hate.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    This is the decree of The King…. – I’m not buying it. I for one have always been a fan of retiring someones enirte JERSEY, to represent their body of workto anyone organisation and the NBA as a whole, not just the “number” in and of itself.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    that Dacre is a good solution

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    “Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.” LeBron DID NOT SAY THAT.

  • Shem

    Bill Russell was number 6 shouldnt his number be retired? I like what hes doing but its not 99. Many people wear 23 but wayne gretzkys 99 was only worn by wayne gretzky

  • la huey

    maybe we could we freeze jordan in carbonite?


    I’ve always said that Jordan’s one of the greatest but for everyone esp. his homoerotic fans to claim that his heads and shoulders above every other great player is insanity. There are too many greats before and after for one player to be above them all. People act like jordan was playing one on five out there. People talking bout magic having kareem and worthy, wilt/oscar, kobe/shaq/pauu, but whenever they mentioned jordan they develop amnesia and forget about pip. Jordan absolutely needed pip in every way possible, without him jordan would not even dream bout six rings. Nobody will ever win a chip by his damn self.

  • MikeC.

    @ birdman jr: Well done sir.

  • MikeC.

    Sports, for the most part, are TEAM games. Jordan cemented his legacy playing for the Chicago Bulls. If that team chooses to retire his number, then that is their choice. What happened to rivalries and hating other teams besides your favorite team? There is no way in the universe that we currently occupy, that the Knicks, Celtics, Hawks, Pistons, Lakers, Blazers, Jazz, Suns and a lot of other teams (the Cavs should be on the list too due to the Mark Price, Craig Ehlo era heartbreaks) would even consider bowing down to a league-wide retirement of #23. That is an ultimate slap in the mouth to the great players who busted their tails trying to win rings during Jordan’s prime. What happened to competition? Bulls’ fans, enjoy your MJ memories and fading championship t-shirts with the cartoon big-heads. The rest of you need to take a closer look at those cartoon big-heads, because Pippen, Rodman, Paxson, Kerr, Cartwright, etc are on those shirts too. All champions. All helped Jordan become what he was/is. For the rest of us, while we can respect Jordan now, we hated him then. That is what competition and fan passion is all about. Not d!ck riding after the fact. As a Knick fan, I can proudly say “Eff Jordan. Eff him in all 6 holes!!” I wipe my butt with 23. 23 is just a number to the rest of the league. As it should be.

  • MikeC.

    My rant wasn’t meant to denigrate Jordan. It was just meant to put things in perspective. Every team builds its own legacy and legends. For those of you who say Jordan drove the league’s economic expansion, I say, check some other facts. While Jordan was the perfect tool for the job, the men using the tool were David Stern and David Falk.

  • MikeC.

    And to greasy Rat Riley, who retired #23 in Miami, maybe he should retire #33. Not for Mourning, but for Ewing, whose Knicks totally destroyed the Heat year after year after year in the playoffs. The only time the Heat beat the Knicks was 1997, when the league suspended the entire state of New York for two games. I hope Riley drowns in hair gel. B!tch.

  • Michael Scorn

    If I wore #23 I wouldn’t do it because I know in the end, only LeBron would get the credit for the movement. And since he is not my teammate, i’m not going a long with anything he does.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Michael Jordan has a practically iron clad case as the best player ever. But that isnt enough to have his number retired league wide. Babe Ruth can lay similar claims of dominance in his sport but Jackie Robinson is the one who has his number retired because of his barrier breaking contributions to the sport. It was a monumental step forward that even allowed us to have so many heralded African American stars today. Who is the greatest football player of all time? He doesnt have his number retired. The only precedent for this is hockey and if the NBA is taking their cues from the NHL….well then sh*t. I dont know what else to say about that. Jordans contributions to the game are almost immeasurable. But there were others before him and there will be more after him. He didnt invent the game. Naismith did. He isnt the games greatest winner, Russell is. He didnt rewrite the record book, Chamberlain did. He didnt save the league from obscurity, Magic and Larry did. He didnt internationalize the game, ESPN did. The undying devotion and a legacy etched on the hearts and minds of millions of adoring fans should be enough. If not, the inspiration he provided to a new crop of stars that will carry us through another decade should help(Practically all of whom wear the brand he helped create). And if that aint helping, then the unconscionable pool of money he sleeps in every night with (insert any woman none of us will ever have a chance with here…) will help him get over it. And heres a real invitation for some hate…..If LeBron James wants to pay homage to Michael Jordan then he should win something. Bye!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre


  • Robert

    This is all about Lebron’s idiotic behavior. Dude clearly does not know what he’s talking about most of the time.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    myles: blablablabla. you took shortcuts to minimize jordan’s impact. mj is not the one that internationalized the game but espn did? please. even if you chose to gloss over it there IS a precedent and jordan is as important to basketball than gretzky is to hockey. he doesn’t have a strong case as greatest ever, he is the greatest ever. but most of all, even if better players come along in the future, no one will ever be as influential just because he was the trendsetter. the whole global marketing thing started with him. he absolutely deserves to get his number retired league-wide and even j-rich is on board now. whether it actually happens or not is the least of my concerns but you guys have to stop fvcking reaching for stuff. and to all the idiots proclaiming that he is doing this for jersey sales: nba players get no money from that. / winning a championship is paying homage to mj? go clog some fvcking lane.

  • SpecialPrint

    The NFL should retire #34 for Walter Payton and #80 for Jerry Rice.

  • Robert

    Z, if he sells a lot jerseys all over the world it will open up other opportunities for endorsements thus, more money.

  • http://www.twahc.blogspot.com twahc

    they need more people to buy lebron jerseys. haha dot dot dot…

  • truthteller

    I’ve been this for a while now that the number 23 should be retired from the NBA. I didn’t like the fact Lebron was wearing the number either. So, if he has finally figured out that he needs to change the number good for him. I hope he can jason richardson and everybody else who wears it in the NBA to do the same thing!

  • truthteller

    I’ve been this for a while now that the number 23 should be retired from the NBA. I didn’t like the fact Lebron was wearing the number either. So, if he has finally figured out that he needs to change the number good for him. I hope he can jason richardson and everybody else who wears it in the NBA to do the same thing!

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    whys this article turned into a bashing page? On those with LBJS meat in their mouth against the lebron hating front, its probably obvious I like very little about the personality that Lebron has presented to the world, what is there to like?! However, his sheer game makes him fairly neutral in my standings, he brings me joy when he’s on the court so can’t really be hatin on him. Anyway, aside from a few needless digs by a few on unrelated jibes, lots of the ‘hating’ comments are valid… LBJ does have a million-billion commercial reasons to suggest what he has done (NBK! So what if he doesnt get money directly from jersey sales, your stupid if you think he isnt going to see vast income from having one of the best selling jerseys… and a new team[potentially]/new number will reignite sales and his re-iterate his commercial power in demanding vast contracts) and its also very very pompous of Lebron to act as his word is final… On the other hand, its stil a good idea I think.
    As for those people who think Jordan isn’t worthy…. All I ever hear from oldies is how so many other players were on level with Jordan… arguably and understandably so, and for a few of them I certainly agree. However, if you are genuinely coming here and saying that the likes of Dr J or Wilt etc did for basketball what MJ did in the 90s then you are unbeliavably naive, perhaps even stupid. The sheer impact of Jordan, off the court, is so uncomparable by anyone else, its pratically alien! Even if on the court he has a number of equals that doesn’t matter. Get a grip!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    mj is not the greatest player ever. sure, he had the biggest impact off the court, sold the most shoes and gatorade. kareem and wilt both have more of a claim to goat than mj. most ppl dikcridin mj have no or little knowledge beyond recent history. hell, magic is the best player ever, he did everything! and won titles against harder competition than mike.


    Listen, it’s ridiculous that they would even consider retiring Jordan’s number league wide. Why would teams like the Knicks, Pacers, 76ers, Blazers, Jazz, etc. want to retire a number for a rival?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Robert: What’s that supposed to mean? Why don’t you say “let’s make Michael Jordan a Barrack Obama?” How about a Robespierre? Or a Dalai Lama? Or a Pope? Or a Queen? Or a former president? Or a John A. McDonald? Or a [insert name] movie star? Or an Oprah Winfrey? Why does a cult of personality have to only be condemned when the person is a non-American, non-white communist? Comparing Mao Ze Dong to a guy like Kim Jong Il is also completely unwarranted, in case you haven’t noticed.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Myles, ESPN definitely didn’t internationalize the sport of basketball

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    By that I mean they played a part in it, but they aren’t the ones to take complete credit for it. How about David Stern? And before all of that, basketball was still a pretty globalized sport in many parts of the world.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    the guy who happened to coach mj for his six titles thinks it’s a great idea, too. but hey, lebron is such a d!ck. right?

  • D12FSU


  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    Tarzan, its not about being GOAT. Such a title is purely subjective. However, saying Magic is the best ever is hmmm… he was insane and unique, but don’t forgot he was 6’9 and playing point, thats a huge, infact, a gargantuan advantage that lasted throughout his entire career. Also, Magic was the one who said; “there’s the rest of us, and then there is MJ” so that is enough said on that versus’ because dude recognises the difference himself …. Its not GOAT anyway, its about having a lasting legacy on the NBA as an association, and MJ is unrivalled in that respect.

    @ Teddy, mate Stern has done wonders for NBA in globalisation, ESPN hasn’t (whoever said that) its a US channel and only recently can you get it abroad, and only in certain countries, if you pay for it. I don’t see how that is globalising the sport. MJ was the catalyst for the globalisation of the NBA, of course basketball was known around the world, most sports are known around the world even if they’re not played in that country. However, the NBA was pretty much truly launched internationally as a serious force behind Jordan’s impact. Fact! and that is why i think he deserves #23 being retired, even though players wearing 23 is in someways tribute enough, it doesn’t give credit to Jordans impact on the game, not just nationally, but amongst the population of the entire planet.

  • ClydeSays

    Co sign with Russ. #6 (Russell) won ELEVEN rings as a player AND as a player/coach. I doubt that will ever be repeated.

    The Bulls & Celtics retired #23 & #6 and rightfully so. I doubt MJ or Russ object to players on other teams wearing those numbers. It’s a tribute.

    Calling for a league-wide retirement of numbers would have to start with the 50 All Time players. Not just MJ’s.

  • youngmuggsy

    Why are numbers so important in american sports? Surely there are better ways to honour a great player than stopping other players from wearing the number he wore.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Z, intellectually dishonest as always… “the guy who happened to coach mj for his six titles thinks it’s a GREAT IDEA, too. but hey, lebron is such a d!ck. right?”…. Actual quote from SI.com:’Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who coached Jordan in Chicago, endorsed the idea, though noted it might be “a little step on the toes for a guy like Magic (Johnson) or (Larry) Bird.” Which was exactly my point. Michael Jordan paved the way for todays players, but other players paved the way for Michael Jordan. To honor him is to slight someone else.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Myles: I agree but… Magic and Larry were no Michael Jordan

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    I mean, like, you can say what you want and name whatever player you like. Magic and Larry did not have the impact Jordan did. Russell, despite all his wins, did not have a FRACTION of the impact Jordan did. Wilt was generally HATED and people rooted against him and his dominance.
    Jordan took Larry/Magic’s likeability, Wilt’s dominance, and Russell’s victories, and merged them into one package which turned basketball into a global sport.
    So yeah, retiring 23 would be a slight to all other great players. But c’mon.. None of them were Jordan.
    Isn’t using Jerry West as the logo of the NBA a slight to all other players too?

  • http://www.thetruthinsportsbymrj.com Mike James

    This is a good move by Lebron he is the best player in the league right now and to honor Jordan this way is cool. Some of the skeptics are saying other things but Lebron is always going to have haters because he has lived up to the hype and for some reason people don’t like that. There are a lot of people that if they love Kobe they hate Lebron. I don’t understand that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Good point, but I dont know how they came about the decision to make West the Logo. As far as Money v. Bird & Magic, sure he was the ‘better’ player by many estimations, but I also think that a great deal of what went into making MJ, Mj was the technological, hierarchal and social developments that occurred along the same time as his rise. David Stern wouldve found a way to globalize Bird and Magic too if they had rose to prominenece during the ESPN/internet era. When talking about Jordans impact we end up discussing so many other things than basketball. Shoes, marketing, contracts etc. And I think much of that is because he benefited from advancements that werent available to his predecessors. What if Tinker Hatfield designed Magics shoes? What if ESPN were around during Oscar and Wilts day? What if video of them was readily available all over the internet? Theres just too many variables. The impact was great, sure. But he didnt do it alone.

  • Orlando

    This should have happened a long time ago like the NHL with Gretzky.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Good points all around. I really am terribly undecided on this issue, leaning towards the ‘no’ zone. The only thing I have to say as a counter-point is that, while Magic and Bird could have been the icons of basketball history, they weren’t. Even if Jordan did get lucky for coming into his prime at the boom of the ESPN-marketing age, he still became the globalized basketball icon, regardless of luck or not. There’s truly no other basketball player who comes even close to the combined skill + money + memories that Jordan brought to the game. I don’t think bringing up Russell as a counter-point holds any water.
    That being said, still not sure about this whole global retirement thing. It’s just a number. Jordan was not the first person to use the number 23.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    why is the discussion about WHY mj had the impact he had? how is that relevant? espn wasn’t there for wilt, thems the breaks. bird and magic have nothing to feel slighted about: mj was better than them. i didnt see wilt or oscar or russell play but ive seen mj bird ad magic. mj is just better. / are you fine me quoting jax if i replace ”great idea” by ”good idea”? the main point which you kinda missed was that he is on board too. and so is louis williams. and so is j-rich. and so is cj watson. the only guy whos not right now is toney douglas. this is not about lebron, he pitched the idea the same way jr griffey thought it would be cool for everybody to wear 42. it just so happens that people are liking the idea. / its funny that all the news outlet arent making this about bron but slamonline is.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    In fairness, I think we should retire the number 24, so douchebags like Kobe don’t use it to be “one above Jordan”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    The numbers 2 and 3 should just be eliminated altogether. Or Obama should put Jordan on the $23 bill.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Oh snap, I’m all for that 23 bill. When I want to make it rain on my adoring fans, I wont have to waste all those one hundred dollar bills.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Z: It’s relevant, there is a mystique to Jordan that truly isn’t based on reality. Like, when Kobe or Lebron misses a game winning shot, the first thing people will say is “Jordan woulda hit that.”
    Chances are, Jordan wouldn’t.
    ESPN and other media sports outlets turned Jordan into a demi-god. He was the best basketball player out there, but exactly HOW Much better of a player was he than Bird and Magic? Is he THAT much better than Kobe? Is he that much more effective in a game than Wilt?

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    I’m just playing both sides here. Quite frankly, I could care less what happens to the number 23. Just interesting discussion all around.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Z, I dont see the words ‘great’ or ‘good’ anywhere in that quote. I see ‘endorsed’ and a mention of how Magic and Larry would feel slighted/had their toes stepped on. Regardless, you modified a quote to suit your own purposes. Its lame. And honestly, who gives a f*ck what J Rich, CJ Watson and Toney Douglass think. The point which Ive reiterated time and again, is about the players who wouldnt have their numbers retired and how they feel about the move. Im pretty sure all of them dont think its ‘great’.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Jukai, thank you.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Honestly, does anyone think that Phil Jackson wouldnt ‘endorse’ this idea? He practically has to or be painted as an ungrateful prick. Phil is no dummy, which is why it sounded like he was reminding people of both sides of the issue without overtly declaring it a ‘great’ idea.

  • sean c

    what about 32, magic johnson. 33, patrick ewing, scottie pippen, kareem, larry bird.6, dr. j. 21, dominique wilkins. the list could go on and on, all of these players contributed to the game. true michael’s was by far the most memorable, that does not give lebron the right to demand that players stop wearing 23.

  • duckas

    that’s the day I officialy became the hater of LeBron and his pathetic charade

  • Soundproof

    It’s fine to retire the number but, What about the future folk who would love to wear the number just to feel it on their backs and knowing the real reason they wear it, MJ!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    360vue your stupid if you think i don’t realize he will see some sort of profit from switching his number. but not enough of a profit for that to be his reason, dude is gonna make rediculous amounts of money regardless. I was simply telling Pardeep that his jersey sales going nuts wont mean anything to LeBron directly. The whole point that LeBron saying he will change his number is to honor jordan and steal the spotlight away from the obvious, Jordan picked Dwyane Wade as his air apparent. Wade is not getting his own shoe, he is wearing Jordans 2010 25th anniversary shoe instead, Jordan showed up at the Heat Cavs game the DAY AFTER the picture of him n wade holding the shoe came out. LeBron COMPLETELY STOLE THE SPOTLIGHT from that situation and has is SHINING on him changing his number. What LeBron did, on purpose or not was take the momentum away from the Michael Jordan dwyane wade story that really didn’t break until this comment.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Sean C & Duckas & NBK: Lebron never demanded it. Lebron didn’t THINK of it. He just said he liked it and endorsed it, and to pave the way for it, he is switching his number 23 to another number. That’s it. Put down the haterade.

  • Doug

    Its ridiculous to retire Jordans Jersey Throughout the NBA. He already has his number retired with the Chicago Bulls. What would that prove retiring his number leaguewide? The Hall of fame and retiring jerseys are fine, but to be honest it isnt right for Lebron to say that like he is the authority in what goes on in the NBA. I really hope that others who have the 23 jersey snub lebron after this.

  • matt

    maybe LeBron should learn to shake hands after a playoff series loss and let his friends talk for themselves when they run their mouth at pro football players. He has been spoiled beyond belief by the media and will never be champ because his game is not complete.

  • jumpman3224

    Does anyone know why JR ‘Earl’ Smith changed his number this season?

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    @nbk, dont slate people for highlighting that LBJ has a million little financial reasons for his proposal, then turn around to me and say you realise he’s going to see a profit for it. And you said it yourself, its shameless media ploy. Enough said. Good idea, but done for the wrong reasons. Thats the fact of the whole issue

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    @Myles, perhaps Magic or Bird would have helped globalised the NBA if they were in the 90s. You are undeniably correct that MJ definitely got loads of help from technological and social advancements of the time, but ultimately MJ was MJ. No-one would of had the same impact he delivered, even if there was help from a number of other sources. Not trying to slight other greats, as they influence Jordan, but the way dude played was so exciting for anyone, even those who knew jack all about the sport. Then there was his media personality; his charisma, his drive, his spirit. Personally, on the court MJ had a few equals, but mentally he was unique, from his iron will to win to his ridiculous amount of confidence; and that, on top of his game, is what ultimately helped him because the face of the globalised NBA. Rather than the internet or the rise of other new facets of the media (disagree with you on ESPN, maybe brought it to a few more million in America, but in terms of globalisaton it didn’t offer much weight since it was only nationwide)

  • knock knock

    lol magic n larry were nothin compared to jordan?? HAHA im guessing this was said by a 15yr old kid who knows nothin about history. Said by someone who didnt know magic won a playoff mvp his rookie year, sumthin it took jordan much longer to get. In an expansion league, can that same person explain who was even GUARDING mj when he shot that gamewinner over the cavs?? that’s what i thought. dummy

  • skeeter

    Has Jordans shoe brand ever signed a ballplayer that wears the number 23? something ot think about

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    @ knock knock, who are you talkin to? you’ve wasted my time, i looked through most of the above posts to see who were commenting about and i can’t see anyone who said larry and/or magic don’t compare to mj. You could start a fight with your own shadow, chill out


    @ Myles Brown: In one of your posts, you say Jordan has an ironclad case as the greatest player ever, but in that same post you go on to detail a list of TRUTHFUL & VALID reasons why Jordan is NOT the greatest ever… which HE IS NOT. Good job on that! Even better job of contradicting yourself. How can you call him the greatest ever in the same post where you legitimately prove HE IS NOT??? Make that make sense!
    It’s like fight fans who try to degrade Roy Jones Jr.’s dominance because the weight class he fought in for years wasn’t as strong as it was a decade or so earlier. You can’t penalise him & his legacy for that because the fighter can’t help when they’re born & what era their careers take place in.
    Also, you can’t heap tons of additional praise on a guy, like people do with Michael Jordan, becasue he played in an era where globalization & global marketing were viable options, due to advances in society & technology. The off court influence Jordan had, while significant, have NOTHING to do with his career on the court, in the National Basketball Assoiciation. It is unfair and disrespectufl to greats such as Wilt, Russell, and Oscar, to elevate Jordan simply because he played in the modern era, while down playing them because they played in an era before the internet, mega-contracts, big money endosrments, and nationwide/global television audiences.
    It’s amazing and disgusting that people with legit basketball knowledge and/or background can make such a false arguement for Jordan being the G.O.A.T.
    Here’s a tidbit for all the dummies, and please fact check for yourselves to see that I’m not lying ortwisting the facts… When Michael Jordan retired, he held a grand total of 2 NBA records, yes that’s right and that’s all. Just TWO! When Wilt Chamberlain retired, he held 58 NBA records, of those records, 53 still stand today! FIFTY-THREE!!!
    Any conversation about the single greatest basketball player of all time, should begin & end with Wilt Chamberlain. Anyone who offers ANY other name into the discussion only proves their own ignorance and stupidity. We’re not talking best team, or most rings, (which, in case folks forgot, is a TEAM accomplishment) we’re talking best individual player.
    Also note, that during the Celtics insane run of winning 11 championships in 13 years, not once did their winning percentage top .600% That is proof positive that, while the league had far fewer teams, it was much more competitive.
    So lets recap… Jordan wasn’t the most dominant, Wilt was. He wasn’t the most versatile, Ocar Robertson was. He doesn’t have the most points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does. Nor does he have the most rings, Bill Russell does. He doesn’t have the most records, again Wilt Chamberlain does. There is NO honest or realistic basis for saying Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever. One of these days, maybe the rest of the basketball world will take off their Jordan brand goggles, and see the truth and reality of the matter.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    “Michael Jordan has a PRACTICALLY iron clad case as the best player ever” The most important word in that sentence has now been capitalized for you. Practically, meaning that declaring someone the best in any circumstance is subjective and the word acknowledges the strength of his case without completely discounting others. Its a widely held sentiment, but not an absolute truth. It made sense the first time I said it and it makes sense now. If people are going to go as far as to misquote others in order to bolster their own points, then these conversations are even more pointless than I thought they were. Bye.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Good points status, and dont try to steal my patented “brongoggles” by switching it to jordan. Jordan is def top 5 all time. So if the l is retiring 23, then 6, 13, 14, 33 gotta be retired to.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Myles: pretty sure he just didn’t have the intellect to -understand- your quote. Ironclad isn’t a commonly used word, y’know!
    360vue: I think he may have been referring to me, when I mentioned Magic and Larry weren’t close to Jordan.. in the impact they had in the league and viewers. Which is true. And I didn’t know that knowing Jordan shot over Craig Ehlo was a test of extreme knowledge (aka it’s one of the most common basketball trivia questions to know).

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Status: No, Jordan’s not the most versatile or dominant or winny-est player ever… he’s the combination of them all. No player combined scoring, passing, rebounding, man-on-man defense, team defense, leadership, dribbling, shooting, and winning like Jordan did. That’s what makes him great. If you keep focusing on ‘one’ aspect, you’re blinder than those kids you keep talking about with the goggles.

  • http://slamonline.com ben osborne

    Not LeBron’s finest moment IMO. Pretty nice thread of comments tho. Thanks everyone.

  • Jalepino Sausage

    That’s why Kobe is a b##ch for picking no 24 . Trying to be 1 up on Mike. Get the F##k Outa Here. & All You KobeSexuals Bow Down To The King !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Kobe will never be like the man he always wanted to copy. MJ The greatest

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Don’t forget Kareems Numba for F##k Sakes

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Stern Better Listen to king Bron !!!

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Stern better Listen

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Oh YEah & Retire #40. Shawn Kemp’s Numba. He Was in Game Dunk God !!!

  • Jalepino Sausage

    We Takin Ova , We Takin Ova !!!! Me & Bron R Gonna Sort This League Out Proper. Word To Yo Mommas KobeSexuals !!!! ha ha ha ha ………

  • Jalepino Sausage

    like Q-Tip : WHERE YA AT !!!!!!!????
    Where Ya at at at at !!!?

  • Jalepino Sausage

    Yall Better Change the Subject COZ I WIN !!!

  • Esco


  • 5footfreak

    Staus, your an idiot.You make a lame case against Mike, and it makes you come off as an uneducated hoops fan that reads too many stats instead of enjoying ball for what it is. LBJ is right, modern day players play the way they do, because they grew up in the Jordan generation. No comparrison with the greats from yesteryear required.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    So that jalepeno guy is new (or is it Jay-Z in disguise?)… So if Jordan was the best player on the planet coming into the league at the right time (technologically and global communications-wise), is his iconic presence the result of our shrunken “global-village” as much as it is his own qualities of desire, competitiveness and winning ways? The number “23″ is just that, a number. Let it be worn.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    I think it’s not a question as to whether Jordan is the GOAT or not… he is. That isn’t really a debate. The debate is whether Jordan is so high above the rest that his number deserves to be retired over everyone else. That’s a little more shaky. Is Jordan THAT much better than Wilt/Russell/Larry/Magic/Kareem/Oscar/Kobe/Reddick? That, my friend, I can’t answer.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    I will make a deal though; retire Rick Barry’s number and I’ll stop constantly talking about how insanely great that guy was.

  • Doug

    I dont understand why Lebron feels the need to petition for the number 23 to be retired it doesnt make any sense to me. What if they decide ok Jordans number will be retired. What if someone else in the league says you know what? I think Wilt Chamberlains number should be retired or Magic Johnsons number what will they say then? Oh well im sorry we did that for Michael so now we really cant do that anymore. I sincerely hope that if Stern takes this retirement of the number 23 in consideration that every single coach, player, and retired player in the NBA has a say on it because this shouldnt be left in the hands of a few to make this decision. Am i right or am i right?

  • Dru Ha

    Never mind that. Just change the logo. The logo of this league should not be a white man from west virginia. Just so wrong. Get Khalid Reeves up there or someone else, not Jerry West.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Dru Ha: why should the logo not be a white man from West Virginia?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    No one will ever touch Jordan purely for the reasons that some have already listed. His impact from the perspectives of media perseption will never be touched again, soely because in this day and age NBA players are human beings and the shroud of mystery has been removed due to the mass conglomerate that the media is. If Kobe hadn’t caught that charge in Denver, I HIGHLY doubt that he wouldn’t be percieved in the same high fashion as Lebron… if not more.

  • Marcos Zapater

    Lebron is an idiot. I hope he never wins a title. Dude needs a big dose of “Earthality”.
    Cap was as great as Jordan, just not as much marketing back when he was in his prime. But he’s the all-time leading scorer (quality over time).
    Magic and Bird made the League big.
    I think it will be a great thing if the players decide that no one else will wear it, but not have it officially retired. That would be gangsta.

  • http://toronto.com Mr.416

    How many Actual 23′s are on current NBA rosters right now. Im going to guess the number is small anyway. Next……

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    The L deciding to retire the jersey, although it would be well intentioned, it would definitely create too much negativity. Would be a certainty that large minorities would argue why and suggest who should of been retired instead; it’s all far too impratical. However, it’d be safe if the players retire the jersey in honour of MJ because is undoubtedly the predominant influence on the majority of the players at the moment. Then in a decade or so, when people like Kobe and LBJ and Dwade, maybe KD too, will be the biggest influences on the new generation, players can start to choose 23 again and new # tribute could emerge. Then again, highly unlikely; players would probably never agree on who should be retired, just like we’ve all debated whether MJs # or that of someone else should be retired.

  • http://celticknightk3@aol.com Celtic Knight

    Jukai had mentioned “No, Jordan’s not the most versatile or dominant or winny-est player ever… he’s the combination of them all. No player combined scoring, passing, rebounding, man-on-man defense, team defense, leadership, dribbling, shooting, and winning like Jordan did. That’s what makes him great.” Correction Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson has it all that’s mentioned above. Look at their triple double records and yes they are very good on defense and on top of that all their triple doubles precentages are above MJ. Not to mentioned the 70′s and 80′s were much more competitive than of the 90′s. I could say so much more but I will soon gotta go to work!


    I’m not discounting how great a ball player Jordan was. He was top five all-time, and, I would say, the best ever, at his position. But for as great as he legitamately was, he was almost as over rated!
    I would put Jordan 4th or 5th all-time, behind Wilt (58 NBA records at the time of his retirement), Russell (5 time MVP & 11 time NBA champion), & Oscar (averaged a triple double for a season), & maybe even Kareem (5 time MVP & 19 out of his 20 seasons he was an all-star).
    The reason I use a lot of stats and numbers to back up my arguement is because the numbers are the ONLY thing that doesn’t lie! The numbers and stats aren’t biased, unlike the pervailing point of view that obviously does’t include any players whose careers happened before the 1984 draft or the mass marketing campaigns that made Jordan a household name (LOL).
    If the debate were about what player had the largest off the court influence and impact, then Jordan wins it going away! Although I could also, make a case for Dr. J, Magic & Bird saving the league from obscurity when it was struggling mightily in the 70s and the start of the 80s. Had they not done that, Jordan probably would have never had the opportunity to become that trancendent personality. But make no mistake, being the most transcendent player and being the BEST player are two entirely different things.
    If the debate is about who is the greatest individual basketball player, then there is no way to give that title to Jordan, without completely suspending reality. Unfortunately, he is commonly referred to as the greatest basketball player ever, and that is a FALSEHOOD that seriously needs to be addressed and debunked. People like the ones here at Slam, the best basketball publication around, should be sharp enough on their hoops history to not make the same mistake, but time and time again, that is not the case. How anyone who reads, writes, watches, talks and follows basketball for a living can make such a glaring mistake and contribute to perpetuaing the falsehood of Jordan being the greatest, is shameful, at best. My comment would be rejected if I said what it was, at worst… LOL.

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  • Shawn Young

    I don’t think the #23 should retire from the NBA because if no one can pick that number, they probally would get mad. Because the person who would probally want that number could be the next MJ and then their going to retire that number and so on and so on. even though im a big fan of LeBron James, Thats a bad idea.

  • mommybear32784961

    I remember a similar thing me and a friend talked about many years ago. When Wilt Chamberlain died before the turn of the millenium (October of 1999 was still the 90′s), my friend said that the NBA should formally retire #13 league-wide.