You won’t be seeing LeBron in his no.6 jersey anytime soon. After LeBron’s post on Instagram that he will be wearing no.6 next season, a bump in the road prevented that plan from happening. A “tens of millions of dollars” bump.
The deadline for number changes in the NBA is on March 15th. If you plan to make a swap, it has to be done by that date. As it is with many things superstar related, the league office informed the Lakers they would allow the swap if Nike agreed to it as well. As much as Nike cherishes their relationship with LeBron, there was a little issue with all the jerseys they already have made. As a source in Nike told ESPN, that would create a financial loss “well into the tens of millions of dollars.”
LeBron letting go of 23 for Davis was a gesture meant to signal to Kawhi and other free agent superstars that LeBron is ready to let go some of the control he has on and off the court to the younger generation of superstars. Now that there are no superstars left, it would be a bad investment to burn so much money by changing it up. So, what will AD’s Lakers number be?
So it’s going to be 23 and 3 this season. But does it make sense to buy a jersey if you’re not sure that they will keep those numbers for the duration of their Laker career? If LeBron and AD make the swap next year, it will make sense wait and get the jerseys then – when you know it’s permanent.
But, there are no significant superstars in free agency next year so such a gesture may not be relevant in the first place.