Why Did Lebron James Change His Number Back to 23? What Led to This?

After wearing No. 6 for the past two seasons, LeBron James just revealed he’s giving his jersey number another makeover.

The basketball maestro from the Los Angeles Lakers is going back to his roots, reclaiming No. 23 the same number he proudly rocked during his initial three seasons with the team.

His agent, Rich Paul, made it clear that this decision was all LeBron’s doing. But Why Did Lebron James Change His Number Back to 23? Read through to find out.

Why Did Lebron James Change His Number Back to 23?

James has always been a bit of a jersey hopper in his career, going back and forth between two different numbers.

But now, it seems he’s saying goodbye to No. 6 out of respect for the late Bill Russell, according to what his agent, Rich Paul, shared with ESPN back in July.

They retired No. 6 league-wide in August 2022 after Russell’s passing, but James kept rocking it last season as a tribute to the 11-time NBA champion.

So, here we go again – James is back in the No. 23 jersey for the second time in his Lakers journey. He first wore it from 2018 to 2021, then took a detour to No. 6 for the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons.

History of Jersey Number Changes

In the incredible journey of his basketball career, LeBron James has used various jersey numbers.

He kicked things off with No. 23 in Cleveland, then made a switch to No. 6 when he took his talents to Miami in 2010. But the plot thickened as he returned to No. 23 for his triumphant return to Cleveland in 2014.

When he landed with the Lakers in 2018, he started with No. 23 but surprised us all by donning No. 6 in 2021. The numbers on his jersey may change, but the legend remains.

Final Thoughts

Big news for basketball fans! LeBron James is set to make a jersey comeback, and it’s the No. 23 that he’ll be rocking next season. The Los Angeles Lakers spilled the beans on Saturday, treating us to a sneak peek with a tweet featuring a snapshot of LeBron’s jersey-clad back, proudly flaunting his name and the iconic number on that golden fabric.

Taking a trip down memory lane, LeBron has had a love affair with both No. 23 and No. 6 since his rookie days with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2003.

Last season, as he made history by becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, he did it in the No. 6 jersey. That number now holds even more weight, given that the league decided to retire it following the passing of the legendary Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics.