Report: LeBron James to Give Anthony Davis No. 23 Jersey After Lakers Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 27, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, smiles as he walks past New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

For the second time in his NBA career, LeBron James won't wear the No. 23 when he suits up for the Los Angeles Lakers next season. 

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, James will let Anthony Davis keep the jersey number he's worn since high school when the Lakers' deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for the All-Star power forward becomes official. 

The news comes on the heels of Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN's report that the Lakers will trade Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards as part of the trade for Davis. Per Wojnarowski, Davis will waive his $4 million trade kicker, giving the Lakers $32 million in cap space, enough for another max contract player.

Haynes noted that James' gesture is part of his effort to "make his soon-to-be new teammate as comfortable as possible."

Davis has worn the No. 23 throughout his basketball career. Perspectives Charter School retired his jersey number in 2013. He also used it during his one season at Kentucky in 2011-12 and during his seven seasons in New Orleans. 

Even though James wore No. 23 during both of his stints in Cleveland, he chose not to wear it during his four seasons with the Miami Heat.

The Heat honored Michael Jordan, who never played for them, by making him the first player to have his jersey number retired by the franchise in April 2003. James opted to use the No. 6 from 2010-14 because Julius Erving was his second-favorite player—after Jordan—when he was growing up. 

James could go back to the No. 6, which he has worn in practice for years, with the Lakers, though no decision has been made at this point.