Absurd reason behind latest LeBron James jersey switch

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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LeBron James will switch jersey numbers from 23 to 6 next season, a move aligned with the release of the upcoming Space Jam film James is starring in. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
LeBron James will switch jersey numbers from 23 to 6 next season, a move aligned with the release of the upcoming Space Jam film James is starring in. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

NBA great LeBron James has announced he will be switching the number on his jersey next season, from 23 back to the 6 he wore while playing for the Miami Heat from 2010 to 2014.

The Los Angeles Lakers star is anticipating the release of the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy after being knocked out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs earlier in the month.

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James has already ruled himself out of an Olympics appearance, preferring instead to focus on the movie, which he stars in and was produced by his company.

A new trailer for the movie was released on Thursday, showing James wearing a number 6 jersey in the film instead of his usual 23.

James had initially pledged to make the number switch when teammate Anthony Davis joined the team via a trade in 2019, however Nike had already produced too many jerseys with the 23 and the pair had missed the NBA's deadline to submit changes.

Instead, it was planned that James would make the change in line with the Space Jam release, with James wearing the 6 in the film.

After he was initially promised the number 23, which he wore during college and with the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the Lakers trade, Davis will reportedly keep the #3 jersey. 

James last wore the new number while with the Miami Heat and won titles in 2012 and 2013.

When he returned to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he swapped back to No. 23. The franchise won its first title with James' leadership in 2016.

He has only worn No. 23 in Los Angeles, which he joined in the 2018 offseason.

NBA fines Heat president over LeBron James comments

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Miami Heat president Pat Riley has been fined $25,000 for violating the league's anti-tampering rules.

Riley is being fined specifically for comments he made about LeBron James and the possibility of him returning to the Heat sometime in the future.

“I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming,” Riley said Friday in an interview on Dan Le Batard’s radio show, via the New York Post. 

LeBron James and Anthony Davis were bounced from the 2021 NBA Playoffs sooner than pre-season predictions had tipped. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were bounced from the 2021 NBA Playoffs sooner than pre-season predictions had tipped. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I would do that, but I doubt very much that key…That key is rusted now.

“LeBron, look, he’s one of the greatest of all time, and for four years down here, if we want to go back and remember what those four years were like, it was four years in the Finals, four years of excitement, two world championships…It was the best time for the Heat. 

"So I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I’ll put a new shiny key under the mat.”

Riley may be happy to welcome LeBron back to Miami if he wants to return, but the NBA doesn't want him talking about that into a microphone. 

Riley already knew that, and actually predicted it would happen.

“This will just get me fined for tampering,” he said.

However, he may not have to pay it himself. Le Batard thinks the whole thing is "stupid" and offered to pay Riley's fine.

With AAP

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