Michael Jordan Wears #12 Jersey

August 23, 2012 BY

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Did you catch the first installment of Sneaker News: Was It The Shoes? We happily revisited the legendary story of Michael Jordan’s first return to Madison Square Garden after his first come-back, scoring an astounding fifty-five points in what would be one of his greatest in-game performances ever – all while wearing the Air Jordan X ‘Chicago’. We continue Was It The Shoes? with another scintillating story that doesn’t have much to do with in-game performance, but in-game apparel; Michael Jordan, who made #23 a legend and #45 infamous, also wore the #12 jersey for one game. Read up on this latest Michael Jordan moment by finding out when and why he wore this number (as well as the kicks he had on during the time) with tonight’s installment of Was It The Shoes? below!


The number 23 has become more than a jersey number. It’s a number that became an adjective, used to describe anything spectacular and absolutely perfect and nearly impossible to duplicate. If you’re wearing the #23 on your jersey, you better live up to the billing or be prepared for the backlash if your game is anything short of Jordan in Game 6. It’s undeniably the holiest of digits in professional basketball and arguably all of sports, and the debate of whether the NBA should implement a league-wide retirement of the #23 still continues today. But before we get into the #12 and how this oddity came to happen, let’s take a closer look on why and how ’23’ came to play.

In his youth, Michael Jordan absolutely admired his older brother Larry. He was a basketball standout and Jordan’s senior teammate in High School, and Michael believed he had possessed only half the skills of his older brother. Larry wore the number 45, so Michael decided to chop that figure in half and round up, resulting in the number 23. Of course, Michael would go on to cement ’23’ into the stuff of legends, although he did wear the number 45 when he came back from retirement in the Spring of 1995 as well as the number ‘9’ in International play in 1984 and 1992. However, somewhere in-between, Michael actually wore another number for just one game in an oft-forgotten and wildly entertaining piece of Jordan history.

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