There was never a question that LeBron James and Anthony Davis would be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers logo on their chests for the coming season.
However, there was a question about what numbers the two all-world talents would wear in the purple and gold, with it being rumored that James was willing to give up his No. 23 to Davis.
That swap is set to happen — just next season, which James confirmed in an Instagram post.
“No. 23 gonna look a little different this year and we got this guy No. 6,” the post said. “He’s aight lol.”
James reposted the image and responded, writing: “Next season but that’s tough. And I stink.”
Davis had worn No. 23 his entire college and pro career until he arrived with the Lakers and it’s still in his Twitter handle. Davis has been wearing No. 3 and said that it grew on him. James had originally tried to give the number to Davis when the Lakers traded for him.
However, 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, sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. Both Davis and James are Nike athletes.
James would go back to No. 6, which he wore in Miami (the Heat had retired No. 23, in honor of Michael Jordan). If the Lakers win a title this year, it would give him extra incentive to wear the number as he chases his sixth NBA title, tying him with Jordan.
Anthony Davis: Never Thought About Leaving Lakers
Davis was an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but never considered leaving the Lakers. And now he’s in LA for the long haul, signing a five-year, $190 million deal.
“It wasn’t a matter of whether I was coming back or not,” Davis said, per the Los Angeles Times. “I think it was just more figuring out the contract length. But it was more so figuring out what’s best for me and my family, trying to figure out do I want to do a long-term deal, short term. I just figured this is the place I want to be. I don’t plan on going anywhere. And as you can see, I’ll be here for the next five years, so I just thought it was best for me to just go ahead and lock it in.”
James also signed an extension recently that keeps him LA for at least two more seasons. The four-time MVP could have declined his player option next offseason if he wanted to test the market.
LeBron James Named Sportsperson of the Year
James added yet another mark to his resume over the weekend, being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year for a third time. He’s one of five recipients, the others being Breanna Stewart, Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
James was recognized not just for his on-court success, but his work away from it. He used his platform to speak on police brutality, racial inequality and also helped organize More Than a Vote, which helped sign up over 10,000 volunteer poll workers in its efforts to combat voter suppression, per Sports Illustrated.