Many comments are made in the heat of the battle or shortly there after that aren't thought through as well as they should be. With LeBron James coming out and saying the NBA should retire Michael Jordan's number for his contributions to the game, and he himself will switch numbers after the season is more telling if you read between the lines.
First off lets examine the fact that Michael Jordon was a great player but not the greatest player in NBA history. He gave us many great memories and reels worth of highlight material but he isn't the greatest ever. Jordan didn't have the most rings, there are numerous players with more rings than Jordan. Jordan didn't score the most points he is third on that list behind Kareem and Karl Malone. He didn't break down any racial or social barriers in his sport.
What Jordan did do was usher in the age of merchandising. He paved the way for sports personalities to market themselves to the masses. Without him top players in any profession wouldn't have their own shoe endorsements or clothing lines. You could even say that any note worthy celebrity or musical act wouldn't have themselves trademarked if it hadn't been for Jordan's "Jumpman".
So LeBrons notion that Jordan should be immortalized beyond the Hall of Fame is a notion that is far fetched and should never happen. The Chicago Bulls can retire his number 23, heck they could even retire the number 45 if they wanted he does deserve that from his home team but thats about as far as it should go.
Now the way I see it LeBrons comments are very telling if you read between the lines of what he is saying and his intentions. He stated that he would be the first to switch his number at the end of this season, and would switch to his second favorite player Julius Erving's #6 which is also Lebrons Olympic number. Funny thing is that Dr.J only wore the #6 when he went to the 76er's later in his career. For most of his days he wore the number 32 in the ABA and NBA when the Nets merged in.
I thought this was funny because LeBron has been thought of as a basketball historian and to look over the fact that Julius only wore #6 late in his career is kinda like looking over the greatest portion of Erving's career.
So when you dissect the main thought that LeBron would be switching numbers I can only come to a couple of conclusions. First, by switching jersey numbers he can sell alot more merchandise and add to his worth through endorsements and jersey sales. Second, Lebron is saying he wont be back in Cleveland and a "switch" in numbers is a good way to state that he will switch teams without saying so much.
The second point is more relevant coming days after he said he would not talk about 2010 anymore. But as we all know Lebron was the one who started the free agent talk and the one responsible for flaming the fire as to where he would end up. Sure the media keeps it going with speculation but as soon as they die down he jumps up and says or does something to remind people he will be available. If nothing else he will be know as the "king" of marketing!
So with all this said I believe that LeBron has added more fuel to the fire if you care to read between the lines and remember what LeBron himself has stated before. He wants to be like Mike, he wants to be better than Mike, he wants to win multiple championships and be the main piece of a team that is capable of doing so. So whether or not Cleveland wins it all this year you can bet that if they don't he will be on the next train to anywhere willing to believe he will reach his potential and achieve what he states he wants to achieve.