By S.C. Zuba
The new king of the NBA, LeBron James, has decided to switch his jersey number from the legendary 23 to 6 to honor the former king, Michael Jordan.
Jordan, the original “airness of the NBA,” did more for the game of basketball than any player to come before or after him. He revolutionized basketball with his style, swagger and skill. Not only did Jordan amass six NBA championship and six NBA Finals MVP awards, but he was also a five-time league MVP, 14-time All-Star and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988.
“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.”
James’ words are absolutely true. Jordan paved the way for current players in the NBA.
James added: “He can’t get the logo [silhouette of Jerry West], 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.”
As a Bulls fan, James choosing to don the No. 6 jersey, which is his number from the Olympics, makes me wonder. James will be a free agent after this season, and he knows if he comes to Chicago, he will not be allowed to wear No. 23. This is all speculation, but could it be James has switched to No. 6 in preparation to play for the once-dominant Bulls?
The Bulls could certainly use the assistance of James, who is likely to command one of the most lucrative contracts in NBA history. But will the Bulls actually pursue him? My guess is no…but what if they did?
It would instantly make the Bulls a legitimate contender. With one of the quickest young guards in the league in Derrick Rose and King James leading this team, an NBA championship suddenly would become a reality.
It would certainly be a costly endeavor, but one that would pay off in the long run—just as the millions of dollars that were paid to Jordan have paid off.
From the November 18-24, 2009 issue