Anthony Davis sported No. 23 at Kentucky and with the Pelicans, but James LeBron had the same number throughout the career. Well, LeBron and Davis had a dinner together this summer, and King James wanted to gift Davis the number as confirmed by Dave McMenamin of ESPN. First, he gave Davis a card, and said it was from his wife welcoming him to LA. The card was signed “LeBron James #6.” Then he pulled out a Lakers jersey.
“From inside the to-go bag the waiter had brought over, James whipped out a gold Lakers jersey with No. 23 stitched in purple numerals. He was like, ‘This is yours.’
“Davis figured the gift to be one of James’ own jerseys. That was until he turned the jersey around: Across the shoulders, stitched just above the No. 23, was the name ‘Davis.’
“‘He was like, ‘I know you wanted 23,’ says Davis. … ‘For him to, in an instant, just say, ‘Here. Here’s 23. You can have it.’ … It was a cool moment.'”
The only issue? James hadn’t met the deadline to officially
request a jersey change, and Nike intervened, saying it would lose “tens
of millions of dollars in potentially wasted inventory of James No. 23
gear,” per McMenamin.
wasn’t really easy, and Davis couldn’t get the No. 23 jersey.
“LeBron James’ plan to give Anthony Davis his uniform number
will be postponed until next season, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes
wrote. “James had wanted to give his new Los Angeles Lakers teammate the No. 23
— which Davis had worn for his entire career in New Orleans — for the 2019-20
“When the Lakers inquired with the league about the jersey
change, they were informed the March 15 deadline had passed, 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,
“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.
Out of consideration for fans who already purchased James’ jersey and to avoid
distractions for a team competing for a championship, the Lakers star will
bypass seeking the number change for this season.
“Davis can hit free agency next summer because he holds a player
option for the 2020-21 season. James
was expected to switch back to
No. 6, which he wore when he was a member of the Miami Heat. Davis is scheduled to hold his Lakers
introductory news conference Saturday.”