LeBron James: Michael Jordan's Playoff Number Change from 45 to 23 'Legendary'May 11, 2020
Arguing who is the GOAT between Michael Jordan and LeBron James is practically an industry all to itself, but the latter had nothing but praise for the Chicago Bulls legend during Sunday's episodes of The Last Dance.
Part of the seventh episode focused on Jordan's return to basketball from baseball and Chicago's second-round loss to the Orlando Magic in the 1995 playoffs.
Although Jordan averaged 31.0 points per game in the loss, Nick Anderson stole the ball from him in the waning moments of Game 1 to set up the winning basket for the Magic. He famously said No. 45, which is the number Jordan first wore when he returned, wasn't as difficult to stop as No. 23, and Jordan responded by wearing No. 23 in the next game and from there on out.
LeBron, who also revealed he cried at nine years old when Jordan retired for the first time, approved of the move:
While the Magic won that series in 1995, Jordan led the Bulls to a playoff victory over the same foe on the way to the 1996 title. He said Anderson's comments, as well as the fact former Bulls player Horace Grant was carried off the floor the previous year, served as a motivating factor.
Those 1996 Bulls won the first of what would become three straight titles in the second three-peat of Jordan's career.