According to Basketball-Reference, there have been more than 200 professional basketball players who have worn the jersey number 23 in NBA and ABA history. And while it's obvious that not all of them have done it to pay tribute to Michael Jordan—for example, Celtics guard Ernie "BLACK JACK" Barrett was rocking No. 23 all the way back in 1953, a full decade before MJ was even born—the number has become synonymous with Jordan's greatness in recent years. So even though MJ himself was quick to point out that he doesn't own the No. 23, it's impossible for us to see or hear "23," inside or outside the context of basketball, and not automatically think "Michael Jordan."
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