Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, James' plan to give his number to new teammate Anthony Davis wasn't approved by Nike because of the "production issues and the massive financial hit" the company would have taken due to the amount of No. 23 James jerseys that had already been produced.
Haynes noted the NBA has a March 15 deadline for teams to officially inquire about players switching jersey numbers. The league was prepared to allow the change if the Lakers could work out a deal with Nike.
When the Lakers officially acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, James posted a picture on Instagram with his new teammate holding a No. 23 Los Angeles jersey.
Sources told Haynes that James was doing everything possible to make Davis feel "as comfortable as possible" in his new surroundings.
James later tweeted the No. 6 with a prayer hands emoji, indicating he could return to the jersey number he wore during his four seasons with the Miami Heat:
It's unclear what number Davis will wear during the 2019-20 season. The six-time All-Star has used the No. 23 dating back to his time at Perspectives Charter Schools-Joselin, which retiredhis jersey in 2013.