With the paperwork filed, it is all but assured LeBron James will be wearing the #6 come next season no matter what team he is playing for. Of course, because of this change, many people are speculating why James decided on the #6. Back in November, after a game in Miami - where the Heat have retired the #23 in honor of Michael Jordan - James had just scored 34 points in a win over the Heat - with Jordan sitting court-side. James talked about Jordan and what he meant to the NBA -
"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."
Hefty praise - a league-wide retiring of the #23, a-la Jackie Robinson's #42 in Major League Baseball.
James went on to talk about why he decided on the #6, which also explains why he wore it in the Olympics and at various Cavaliers practices over the years -
"My second-favorite player was Julius Erving, and he wore No. 6," James said. "I wore 32 in high school because Dr. J wore it at first. My first child was born on Oct. 6, it's my Olympic number, my second child was born in June."
Many people are criticizing James for using Jordan as the reason for giving up #23, while ignoring the fact that other great players wore #6. LeBron is not trying to find a number that can become his own - though haters will always hate. LeBron simply holds Jordan to a higher standard than the other great players. The best way he can honor Jordan is to give up what he considers an 'unwearable' number.
Then, to pay tribute to Julius Erving, another of LeBron's favorite players, he chose #6 - along with the all the other links to the number.
In the end, whatever the reason - and I think LeBron did a good job explaining it - is fine with me. Like other 'controversies' that have surrounded LeBron, he's not the first to change his number - Kobe - nor will he be the last.