‘Always Been a Part of Me’: LeBron James Reveals Why He Switched to Number 6

Published 10/01/2021, 1:44 AM EDT
BEIJING, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 04: NBA star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers meets fans at a Nike store on September 4, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)


Training camp is underway in the NBA. Recently, the teams also went through media day, where the media could interact with the players. Many answers came out, including the mystery of why LeBron James changed his number this season.

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LeBron has worn the number 23 for most of his career. The only time the ‘King’ had to switch was during his 4 years with Miami because the Heat had retired 23. During that time, he chose the number 6. Similarly, he announced that he is switching back to six starting this season.

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates the final horn against the Denver Nuggets during overtime quarter of Los Angeles’ 120-116 win on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

At first, there was no exact clarity on why LeBron decided to switch numbers. Hence, it came as a surprise to many to know that James won’t be 23 for the Lakers anymore.

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Why LeBron James switched to number 6?

LeBron sat down with the media after the Lakers practice session. He spoke about various things, such as the training camp experience so far and even playing with Westbrook. However, he was also questioned about his recent jersey number switch.

While the Akron Hammer didn’t give a clear-cut answer, he did reveal that it holds some significance to him. LeBron revealed that six has always been a part of him. He also said that the number holds importance on certain things he believes. But the number switch doesn’t come with a change in mentality for the ‘King’.

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LeBron James said: “It’s always been part of me to be honest. You know, six has a lot of meaning to me, not only from like my family and numbers and things of that nature. To what I believe in things of that sort but my mentality doesn’t change. Going out trying to be an overall basketball player, trying to dominate at all facets of the game and being a great teammate, and being a great leader.”

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While this may be a surprise to many, this isn’t the first time LeBron has tried to switch numbers while with the Lakers. When Anthony Davis made his way to the LA, LeBron was willing to switch and give AD the 23 jersey. However, the switch would result in Nike losing millions. Hence, they did not allow it.

Now, despite the number switch, do you think he can successfully lead the Lakers to another championship? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

364 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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