2019 Free Agency
2019 Free Agency

Report: LeBron won't swap off No. 23 until 2020-21 season

James intended to allow Davis to claim the number worn throughout NBA career

Jul 12, 2019 8:32 PM ET

LeBron James will reportedly have to wait before bestowing No. 23 on another Laker.

Earlier this offseason, LeBron James teased a return to No. 6, by way of passing No. 23 along to incoming Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis.

But, per a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, that swap will have to wait for the 2020-21 season:

When the Lakers inquired with the league about the jersey change, they were informed the March 15 deadline had past, sources close to the situation told Yahoo Sports. However, the league would have allowed it if the team were able to work it out with Nike, the manufacturer of the jersey, sources said.

But due to production issues and the massive financial hit Nike would have absorbed from the No. 23 James inventory that’s already been produced, Nike could not accommodate the request for this season, sources said.

James wore No. 6 during his four-season run with the Miami Heat, winning two titles while making four straight NBA Finals appearances. Davis has worn No. 23 for all seven seasons he played for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Late Friday night, Davis posted on social media that he'd be claiming No. 3 for the upcoming season:


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