November 14, 2009 BY Aaron Kr.
Many expect LeBron James to create a new phase in his career by signing with the New York Knicks or some other bigger-city squad when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. You can consider the artist’s rendering above an indication of a less significant change that hints at the whole summer-of-Ten thing.
LeBron James is changing his number to ‘6’ starting next year. The King knows he’s not the ‘next Michael Jordan’, but he does revere MJ:
I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized in some way – soon. There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade, you name all the best players in the league right now and the last 10 years, there would be none of us without Michael Jordan.
For those in the know, this isn’t a huge shock. LeBron has been spotted warming up for Cavs games wearing number 6 (one night even slipping it on by accident while sitting the bench), wore that number on his way to Olympic gold, and oh yeah, he’s been saying it since at least February 2009: “If the NBA retired 23 because of Michael like baseball did with Jackie Robinson , I would definitely switch it. Maybe I would someday, we’ll see.”
After last night’s victory over the Miami Heat, Bron-Bron suggested:
It’s time [for the NBA to retire 23]. He’s the best basketball player we’ve ever seen. Mike does it on the court and off the court. If you see 23, you think about Michael Jordan. You see guys flying through the air, you think about Michael Jordan. You see game-winning shots, you think about Michael Jordan. You see fly kicks, you think about Michael Jordan. He did so much, it has to be recognized, and not just by putting him in the Hall of Fame.
Though the Knicks get nearly all the ’10 press, we can’t help but wondering about the timing. See, Heat GM Pat Riley was so impressed with MJ himself (must’ve been all those playoff drubbings in the early ’90s) that he made the double-triple off-limits for Miami players during His Airness’ farewell tour in ’03.
Could this be a sign that LeBron would be changing his number anyway, and that there might be some sample pictures leaked that would reveal his intention to sign-up for the South Beach lifestyle?
That’s pure speculation, of course, but a LeBron-Wade team seems like a natural candidate for the next great NBA dynasty. It’s a marketing opportunity so powerful that it could probably even break through the invisible Nike-Jordan Brand ‘wall’. Stick with Sneaker News for updates on all LeBron James sneakers.
Additional photo via Zimbio.