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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  97 responses

Introducing #6, LeBron James

He told the world earlier this season that the switch was coming; now he’s confirmed it, as the Plain Dealer reports: “LeBron James fans, get ready to make some room in your closet for No. 6 jerseys. James told The Plain Dealer on Monday that he’s filed the paperwork with the NBA office to switch his jersey number from No. 23 to No. 6 next season. He had to make the decision this week, the deadline to make the request to the NBA is Wednesday. James first brought up the idea in November, saying he wanted to give up No. 23 out of respect to his hero, Michael Jordan. At that time he said he was ’50/50′ on switching to No. 6, his Olympic number and the day of the month his first son was born. That now seems to be 100 percent. ‘I’ve done it,’ James said. ‘I already sent it in. I’m going to be No. 6.”‘

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  • mike

    that’s dr.J’s number – pick an original one

  • Ken

    That’s IF he’s staying in Cleveland.

  • Robert

    So he wants everything that Kobe has. MVPs, Championships, top dog status, and even the no. jersey in the world. What else is new with this insecure bastard

  • eZ

    He is going to play in chicago next yr :)

    That is why he is changing his number lol

    There is a conspiration beyond this change.

  • http://fklflc.om Jukai

    Good move by the King. Only scrubs like Russell and Dr. J used that number.

  • http://fklflc.om Jukai

    I mean, who the hell is Patrick Ewing anyway, am I right?

  • mitchqqqqqq

    real kings wear rings.

    NUFF SAID

  • http:whoisskinnypanther.blogspot.com adindra

    All hail king james…!! Two-three become six…yea
    Respect to the hero “Michael jordan”

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/02/tracy-mcgrady-hurt-yes-already-again/ L

    Lol Jukai. Ahh No. 6 I dont like it. Looks bad for bron

  • JoeMaMa

    He should’ve picked whatever number Teen Wolf wore.

  • slamfan4life

    He’s goin to tHE BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    sighhh

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    I’m actually Robert.

  • Trey

    @ Rob: So there’s something wrong with wanting MVPs, championships and top dog status? I’m confused.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    I don’t quite get his logic, it seems that wearing Jordan’s # shows more respect to his ‘hero’ than not wearing it. I’m not sure what Russell, Dr. J or Ewing etc have to do with this b/c they aren’t his heros, only MJ is. I doubt there is any number that has never been worn by any player in the past for him to be ‘original’. So I guess #6 is just as reasonable as any other number.

  • kh

    Ahahaha JoeMaMa, Teen Wolf wore number 42, so out of respect to Stackhouse and Scott Howard he should find another number.
    I’m not sure about 6 either. I think he (and the nba) should let the fans decide. Text your choice to 23to6to666toLebronisamemberofasecretsociety *local charges may apply*
    c’mon son

  • Robert

    Yeah I good with Kobe now – Ryan

  • Robert

    Yeah I’m good with Kobe now – Ryan

  • jumpman3224

    Yea Teen Wolf did rock the 4-2, unfortunately that number is retired for Thurmond who spent 2(yea, the retired a players number who played two years with them) seasons.

  • Robert

    No Trey, there’s nothing wrong with that its just he’s shameless ploy to change his jersey number to be no. 1 and proved that he’s the most popular player in the world and not Kobe. I’m not sure if he’s doing this to spite Kobe but regardless I think this is another publicity stunt just like the many things this man does.

  • Jack Knife

    he’s going to be a bobcat or whatever they are called next year.

  • Nigel

    And he said #6 because it was thew day his first son was born. So is he like dissing his youngest son?

  • JoeMaMa

    Teen Wolf > Lebron and Kobe COMBINED.
    Did Wesley or Woody rock a numbered Jers in the greatest film of all time? Woody hit a hook shot. ON THE SUDAN. Honour THAT, Lebron.

  • neaorin

    from the article (emphasis mine): “[...] players WHO DON’T CHANGE TEAMS have to apply to change their number in March before the previous season.”

  • LeoneL

    He should have just went with pi.

  • neaorin

    Robert: “doing this to spite Kobe”? How is changing his number to #6 supposed to achieve that?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Lol LeoneL. YEa, since everyone is saying no number is original, might as well bring in the decimal numbers, 2.3 LOL

  • underdog

    “saying he wanted to give up No. 23 out of respect to his hero, Michael Jordan” – damn he’s no respect for the Doc?

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    I heard he’s gonna be in the dunk contest next year.

  • fizzrocket

    Showin’ some respect for Bill Russell then LeBron? What an asshole.

  • a_whiteman

    Who else in the league wears 23

  • Robert

    @neaorin: I mean wanting to take everything away from him.

  • neaorin

    again: what exactly is he taking away from Kobe by wearing #6?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    No, Robert’s right. I remember talking to LeBron in high school, and I was like, “What’s your ultimate goal in the game?” And he was like, “I want to take everything away from Kobe Bryant.” Give him credit, he has really stayed with that.

  • Trey

    I think dwarfing Kobe in off the court endorsement money and getting the most All Star votes helps prove he’s more popular

  • neaorin

    What’s he taking away from Kobe by wearing #6?

  • Trey

    Next he’ll be trying to play with Shaq to win a ring….oops

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

    There was a time in Doctor J’s career when he wore the #32. Just saying.

  • neaorin

    offtopic: anybody else having trouble with their comments not showing up? Maybe the website cache plugin needs some tweaking.

  • vtrobot

    styles and boof think that numbers have been done and that bron should be really original and use letters.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    He’s doing what he said he was going to do. How rare.

  • WOODY

    1. There are no original numbers short of 56 that somebody hasn’t worn. Knock it off haters, he’s picking a new number, not disrespecting anyone.
    2. If he were changing teams he would NOT NEED to file for a change. He’d get a new number from his new team. Decisive, no, but think about it.
    3. Lebron, Kobe, Wade and all NBA players are just entertainers, competing for our money. Seeking publicity is the nature of entertainers. Would we act like Lebron or George Cloony. Well, maybe if we could afford it. Good entertainers are flamboyant, not modest and retiring. Remember Michael Jordan. Just enjoy his greatness while it lasts and argue his legacy when it’s over.

  • Robert

    @Trey: Kobe has made more endorsement money than Lebron according to Forbes. Here’s the link (http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/17/top-earning-athletes-business-sports-top-earning-athletes.html). You should go outside of America more to realize how bigger Kobe is than Lebron.

    Plus, I wouldn’t put too much weight on all-star votes the same fans can vote over and over again and Kobe was leading all the way until the results were released were it had Lebron rallying to get the most votes.

  • Robert

    @neaorin: its to prove that he’s the most popular player in the world if his jersey becomes no. 1 in the world just like what Kobe’s jersey is now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    You guys probably forgot this, but when they were on the Olympic team together in ’08, LeBron kept stealing the ball from Kobe in games. Kobe was all, “Dude, what are you doing?” And LeBron was all, “I want to take everything away from you, Kobe Bryant.” Nearly cost them the gold.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    When LeBron works out in the offseason, he doesn’t practice his jumper or work on improving his footwork or anything stupid like that. His entire offseason workout consists of trying on jerseys with different numbers on them, to see which one will look the coolest, so that it’ll sell the most and he can sell more jerseys than Kobe.
    If you go outside America, everyone knows this.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    You forgot the two months that he dedicates to choreographing his on court dance moves for the next season, Ryan.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Days like today make me miss the site from a couple of years ago badly. Thanks for the laughs, Jones.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    @Robert: Lebron actually earns more through endorsements than Kobe. Forbes is including salary in the total figures. Kobe earns about $6 million more than Bron in salary and ‘only’ earns a total of $5 million more with endorsements. Not a huge enough difference in my book to say one is really bigger than the other as the numbers can easily flux one year to the next. Just saying…

  • Robert

    You’re absolutely right Ryan, Lebron definitely dominated the ball during the olympics and kept Kobe waiting in the corner and never passed him the ball eventually. (This is no joke)

    I don’t know about Lebron trying out jerseys in the offseason but Ryan worshiping Lebron and dumping on Kobe everyone in the world knows that.

  • md33

    It’s no disrespect to Dr. J or to Bill Russel: he never watched those guys play. He grew up in the Jordan era.

  • Robert

    @NUPE: True but we all know the reception Kobe has received overseas is much much crazier than when Lebron goes overseas. Adrian Wojnaowski even made a comment in his article on Lebron not liking Kobe being more popular than him during the olympics.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    md33 is about the only guy that get’s it. Kudos to him.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    Ryan is on fire today

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    And you’re absolutely partially half-right, Rob. I’m defending LeBron, but I’m not dumping on Kobe. Only you.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nick Fleming

    Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t?

  • Farman

    What about hurting Eddie Jones’s feelings??? haha….

  • neaorin

    A quick stop to the FIBA site reveals that Kobe led the US team with 13 shots per game, while LeBron came in at 10.3 and Wade 8.7. But hey, Kobe’s the greatest player ever, he should’ve gotten at least 20 a game. But he couldn’t because of that LeBron guy, what a jerk.

  • mems

    the only reason he is doin this is for money

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nick Fleming

    Remember that one time when MJ had to wear No. 12?
    I didn’t ever buy that jersey.

  • mems

    MJ wore 45 too didnt he?? man that looked so terrible on him

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    LeBron should grow out a ‘fro over the summer.

  • http://www.lkz.ch darksaber

    I have the Jordan No. 45 Jersey, original cut in red: friends of mine have offered me loved ones for that jersey. Not parting with it…eva! (and yes, it looked strange on him..then)

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    @Robert: My only point was that if you’re making the argument that Kobe is bigger than Lebron based on endorsements, then you’ve got it backwords cause Lebron earns slightly more. I don’t think that argument works as there are too many factors to determine who’s bigger. Subjectively I think Kobe is ‘bigger’ world-wide because he plays for the Lakers and has received more exposure because of that combined with the fact that he grew up in Italy and has some commercials where he speaks Italian. Both these guys want to strecth their brands – hence why Lebron would consider going to NY even if the team isn’t as good initially.

  • Rob

    If people think he’s doing it for MJ, it’s because people are naive and dumb in general. Lebron’s ego is so big he doesn’t want to be remembered as the other “23″. No way he’s going to Chicago, get real!!!

  • danglez

    looks like nike has to make a new logo.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    The new Lebron is 2 less than the old Kobe…Justsayin%!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    DUNKMAN logo, here you come!

  • T-Money

    I think the whole disrespecting such and such argument is kinda cute. It really is. Let’s just pretend that ballers born in the 80s grew up idolizing Dr J and Grandpa Russell. I mean, nobody saw Russell play and MJ is just flat out better than Dr J. The league doesn’t seem too keen on retiring Jordan’s number league-wide but let’s also not pretend that it’s an outrageous proposition. Hockey did it with Gretzky and one could argue that MJ is even more associated with basketball than Gretzky is to hockey. I don’t really care for the argument either way but just chill, guys. He’s changing his number. Players do that every year.

  • Gregg

    WTF?!?!?! I JUST bought a #23 jersey for $80. Thanks a lot Lebron. Now I have to shell out $80 more for a lame #6. Dammit.

  • http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/kobe_bryant_top_50.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/nba/slamonline-top-50/& James the Balla

    Actually Ryna… he doesn’t do any of that…. he pays his friends to do it for him!!

  • http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/kobe_bryant_top_50.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/nba/slamonline-top-50/& James the Balla

    Ryan*
    And T-Money… MJ does not make up more then the great 99 does with hockey. Believe me!!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I don’t mind LeBron showing respect for Jordan, but number 6? Come on!
    “Let’s retire Jordan’s number league-wide, but I’ll just make sure I wear Russell’s and Dr. Jay’s to show them just how much better Jordan was.”

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m sure it’s not intentional but it just seems iffy to me. As a basketball fan it’s a little unsettling to read people saying, ‘Nobody saw Russell play. Who cares?’ (paraphrased). Sorry T-Money, a lot of us DO care.

  • dookie

    this can all be explained in one word: ILLUMINATI :D

  • T-Money

    Do you get upset whenever someone wears #6 then? Russell has his place in the history of the game, without a doubt, but his impact and influence on the game (especially amongst 80s babies) is not even close to Jordan’s. Besides, he didn’t pick 6 out of nowhere that’s his Olympic number. Jordan is not on equal footing with Russell or Dr J, he’s just not. He’s the GOAT. Whether you feel that any number should be retired is one thing but if there’s one to retire, it’s obvious that it’s #23 and nothing else.

  • colin n

    im pretty sure that 6 is the number of ships that MJ won lebron really needs to get away fom MJ references

  • I will miss AI

    ah @Nick Fleming love taht song also i dont see how lebrons doing this for money wearing # 23 is about the coolest thing for an all-star not kevin martin or devin brown etc. T-Money is on the money when lebron started the league wide petition i was all for it until them owners and gms were all gay and said jordan aint THAT good and mjs gotta be humble for once and say nuh uh…..hey James the Balla u ever read ESPNS tribute to mj? parently not son cuz it showed through pure stats that no player sides babe ruth can compare to mike

  • I will miss AI

    oh yeah @ Gregg i was thinking the same thing lol i was hopin hed win his ring and then change it and my 23 would be worth somethin too bad……

  • Hubert

    Illuminati indeed!

  • Robert

    @neaorin: maybe he average more shots but do you have an average how long Lebron held on to the ball. Lebron tried to turn team USA to to the Cleveland Cavaliers by trying to play point guard on offense even though he had Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Jason Kidd. I don’tknow if he was not passing the ball to Kobe in corner on purpose but he did it several times and most of those times Kobe was open because of Lebron’s penetration. That’s why stats don’t tell the whole stroy.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Ryan Jones needs to post in the comment section more.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    T-Money: I’m not saying it shouldn’t be Money’s number to be retired, but if you’re commemorating one legend by not wearing his number, it’s bad taste to put on A DIFFERENT LEGEND’S number. Bill Russell did a lot for this game and I wouldn’t be opposed to the league retiring his number either. It’s not about LeBron changing his number, it’s WHY he’s changing his number and what he’s changing it to because of his reason–if that makes any sense. Probably doesn’t.
    Look, number 6 is not a popular number and it’s very identifiable with those two legends: Doc and Bill. That’s why it’s a little iffy for me. If he would have chosen a number like 3 or 15 or something like that, you know, a really popular number that so many legends have worn that you lose track, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
    Or, if he would have chosen a number that no real legends have worn, that would be even better–make his own statement and legacy in a number. Have guys wearing HIS number in tribute to HIM.

  • dmonz

    Bron also wore #9 on the olympic team while Wade wore 6.. 9 would look better on him.. Will remind him of the bronze medal they won when they lost the gold to Argentina

  • Robert
  • Robert

    Check this link or better yet just go straight to yahoo and read Adrian Wojnaowski’s new article
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-lebronjordan030210&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. Lebron is not doing to this because he wants to make a tribute to MJ, he’s doing do his for his own personal interest.

  • ConeyIslander

    You guys are all missing the writings on the wall. LeBron’s going to miami to play with D-Wade. The number 23 is retire there “out of respect for MJ” years ago, so he’d have to change his number anyway! The day LeBron first said that was in miami the day MJ “passed D-Wade the brand torch”. Coincidence, maybe not so much. Lol

  • Jon

    damn i will need to make space in my closet for the 10+ cavalier jerseys comingnext year.

  • jose

    So kobe did single digits 2 double digits.and lebron did vice versa. Wade shuld get 3 digits.lol or lebron shulda been 25 or sumthin or 22

  • kulas

    so Nike has to redesign their logo for LBJ if he changes his number right?

    http://fsa.zedge.net/content/8/4/2/3/1-3526787-8423-t.jpg

  • jaime

    @eZ , he’s going to Miami . Riley retired Jordans 23 there too

  • Jack Knife

    LeBron is in the Illuminati with Jay-Z. That’s why he does the triangle with his hands, and why he is number 6 now.

  • Ben

    He just wants to top Kobe’s sales.

  • Ben

    Although Kobe did it too.

  • ClydeSays

    It probably doesn’t mean much to Russ(ell), but Lebron as a 7 year vet should know what that number represents.

    I think it’s safe to say no one is going to equal or exceed Russell’s accomplishments in the NBA. Especially now that the League has salary caps, free agency, expansion and fickle ownership. If any NBA number was going to be retired from use, I would hope they’d start with ’6′.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    Surprising how many comments such a ‘simple’ # change recieves. Anybody can speculate on why Lebron doesn’t wear 23 anymore or just accept that he got the idea to respect HIS HERO and decided to go through with it because it makes good business sense. No athlete, businessman or person in general wouldn’t want to increase their brand and if this makes both emotional and financial sense for him then I have no issue with that. Lebron’s hero is MJ not Dr. J or Russell so I don’t get why he shouldn’t wear #6. Personally I believe there are too many #’s that could be considered for retiring by the L. Russell could be argued as the greatest player ever (even above Jordan – look at the rings), Dr. J some people believe changed the game more than anybody else and paved the way for MJ. Magic and Larry revitalized the L, the Big O should be in consideration for the greatest (Mr. trip double). All these guys have #’s to be considered and I personally don’t think any of their #’s should be retired and don’t understand why Miami retired 23 for Jordan – is that disrepectful to all the previous NBA greats? I don’t think so, just like I don’t think is disrespectful for LBJ or any other player to wear #6 or not wear a number because who their person hero’s are.

  • Sparty’s Law

    Its only a number. As long as it’s not retired by whatever team he wants to play for it’s really not a big deal. Lots of great players have worn the same number as other great players, so if he’d rather be a 6 than a 23 good for him.

  • mrkleen

    Bill Russell is the GREATEST winner in the HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. He won 11 championships in 13 seasons. If LeBron wants to respect someone, he should respect Mr Russell. Michael Jordan was a great individual player…but he isnt even in the same conversation as Bill Russell. So much ignorance being displayed by Lebron – and so many of your two dollar clowns out here.

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