LeBron James spent a total of 11 seasons with the Cavaliers, who will certainly retire his number. His next-longest tenure has been with the Lakers, with whom he’s about to start his sixth season. Now Lakers owner Jeanie Buss says James’s number — or maybe two numbers — will hang from the rafters when his career is over.
The news came in an interview that Buss did with Sportskeeda. Asked about retiring James’s number, Buss said:
“The standard for having your jersey retired as a Laker is when a player is inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have absolutely no doubt that LeBron will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame. When he does so, then we will retire his jersey. Knowing that he will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he will have his Lakers jersey retired, no doubt about it.”
But here’s the thing: James has worn two different numbers during his time in L.A. He wore No. 23 for his first three seasons and then switched to No. 6 for his last two. This year, out of respect for Bill Russell, he’s switching back to No. 23. Will the Lakers retire both numbers? Just one? If the latter, which one?
Buss said, “That’s a discussion for another time.”
Getting back to LeBron, he also spent four seasons with the Heat. I’m assuming they’ll retire his number as well — after all, this is a team that has retired No. 23 for Michael Jordan (who never played for them) and No. 13 for Dan Marino (who plays a different sport).