Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James finally got his wish to switch his jersey from No. 23 to No. 6 for the upcoming season. James’ decision came coupled with star big man Anthony Davis choosing to keep No. 3. With that in mind, Davis finally voiced why he won’t be changing his number.
LeBron James will wear No. 6 next season
Since Davis joined the Lakers before the 2019-20 season, James has attempted to change his jersey from No. 23 to No. 6.
The four-time league MVP was unable to switch his number over the last two years but finally received the green flag to head that route for the 2021-22 campaign. It will mark the first time he wears No. 6 since his four-year stint with the Miami Heat.
However, Davis elected to stay with No.3, which he recently brought clarity concerning why he made that decision.
Anthony Davis finally revealed why he didn’t change his Lakers jersey to no. 23
After James officially announced his decision to change his jersey to No. 6, the focus immediately shifted to Davis‘ number situation.
When Davis joined the Lakers, the initial expectation became centered on James giving his new teammate the No. 23 due to him wearing it throughout his tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans. However, Davis chose to stay pat with No.3 instead of wearing the number he wore throughout his first seven NBA seasons.
During a recent Twitch stream, the 28-year-old clarified his decision by stating he wants to get his current jersey number retired in Staples Center’s rafters one day.
“Goal is to get 3 in the rafters, not going back to 23,” Davis said.
Davis has gotten off to a strong start through his first two seasons in Los Angeles behind a pair of All-Star game selections, an All-NBA First Team nod, an NBA All-Defensive First Team nomination. Beyond that, he helped guide the Lakers to an NBA title, which has become a benchmark asset objective for any player in franchise history with their jersey retired.
Davis must string together several more highly productive individual campaigns, and deep playoff runs to secure a chance to have his No. 3 jersey hanging in Staples Center one day. In other words, he has a long way to go to see his number hanging alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Jerry West.
Anthony Davis holds the key to the Lakers’ future
The jersey number situation aside, Davis is the crucial factor in determining the Lakers’ future ahead.
Los Angeles is committed to him through the next four seasons as he enters the second year of his five-year, $190 million deal. The 28-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued campaign but will have the chance to put those struggles behind him next season.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will move forward this upcoming offseason to build a championship-contending roster around him and James. Los Angeles may have several new faces next season that could see another star player, such as All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry join the mix.
The front office wants to maximize the window ahead with James under contract for the next two seasons. Beyond that, the team will be structured around Davis as the central piece of the roster. All that will require the star big man to prove he can remain healthy as he’s struggled with injuries during his brief stint in Los Angeles.
If all the pieces fall into place, Davis holds the opportunity to carve out a unique legacy wearing a Lakers uniform.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.