When the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis steps on the court this season he won’t be wearing the No. 23 as in recent seasons.
That was the number that LeBron James wore in his first season with the Lakers, as well as with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While King James graciously tried to gift the No. 23 for Davis to wear this coming season, it was halted due to Nike. That means Anthony Davis will wear a different number.
LeBron James’ jersey swap can’t happen
LeBron James was going to wear the No. 6 for the Los Angeles Lakers in his second season with the team. That was his number during his Miami Heat playing days and also with Team USA in the Olympics.
It would allow Davis to keep No. 23 which he’d worn throughout his career with the New Orleans franchise.
However, Nike had issues which halted the production of LeBron’s No. 6 Lakers jersey. Those issues were of the financial type, as they stood to lose a lot of money on the LeBron No. 23 jerseys they’d already produced.
A deadline was set to change numbers in the NBA back in March. Since that had passed by the time the Davis trade happened, LeBron was late in asking Nike for the change.
LeBron James won't be switching to No. 6 with the Lakers because he's too popular.
Nike said all of the unsold No. 23 jerseys would cost them *tens of millions of dollars.* pic.twitter.com/VmTeoMfxpb
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) July 13, 2019
Per the news report above, Nike could have agreed to waive that deadline to accommodate LeBron’s request. If they did, they’d lose millions of dollars based on the fact they’d already created a lot of Lakers jerseys bearing James name with the No. 23.
That means the King will continue to wear that number for at least this season, and Davis will rock a different number on his Lakers uniform.
Davis to wear number from earlier days
The Lakers unveiled their newest All-Star during an official press conference on Saturday (July 13) in California.
During the event, Anthony Davis spoke about the LeBron James jersey swap falling through. He also spoke about the new number he’ll wear, which he wore many years ago.
Davis said he’ll wear the No. 3 for the Lakers. That was the number he wore during his elementary school playing days.
AD used 2K to pick his jersey number 😏 Speaking of numbers… AD’s 2K20 rating should be a…. 🤔
— NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) July 13, 2019
The Lakers tweeted out a video on Saturday showing Davis finally putting on that jersey which is sure to be a popular seller amongst fans.
That makes it much more official to everyone that AD is officially part of the historic franchise.
He becomes the latest in a long line of All-Star big men that previously included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal on championship teams.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 13, 2019
For 2019-20, Anthony Davis will team up with LeBron as the Los Angeles Lakers try to get back to the postseason.
It’s been a drought for several seasons now so the fans in LA are certainly looking forward to big things.
They’ll also have Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, and Kyle Kuzma, among others, as part of their contending team in the West.
Check out the entire Los Angeles Lakers press conference featuring Anthony Davis here at YouTube.