Chicago Sun-Times

Should NBA retire Jordan's 23?

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LeBron James said Thursday that Michael Jordan's No. 23 should be retired league wide and that he was considering changing next season to No. 6.

"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon." James said after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Heat in Miami with Jordan sitting courtside. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first.

"He can't get the logo, and if he can't, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I'm starting a petition, and I've got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it."

Right now, Jordan's 23 is retired by the Bulls and the Heat. The NBA doesn't have any number retired league wide. Should 23, in honor of Jordan, be the first? Leave your comments below.

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They did it in baseball for Jackie R. I see no reason why they can't in the NBA.

#6 is another number that could've been retired league wide for the great Bill Russell.

I believe LeBron has a valid point and MJ, the greatest ever to play the game should be recognized with this type of honor, if he cant be the logo. Also if LeBron James is changing is number( the best 23 at this time) then everyone should follow what he believes.

I believe LeBron has a valid point and MJ, the greatest ever to play the game should be recognized with this type of honor, if he cant be the logo. Also if LeBron James is changing is number( the best 23 at this time) then everyone should follow what he believes.

I believe LeBron has a valid point and MJ, the greatest ever to play the game should be recognized with this type of honor, if he cant be the logo. Also if LeBron James is changing is number( the best 23 at this time) then everyone should follow what he believes.

The most asinine idea I've ever heard put forth. Not to mention incredibly disrespectful to all NBA stars who came before Jordan, the entire NBA organization - commissioners, sales and marketing staff, team owners, etc.

Mr James is todays' marketed star, tomorrow there will be others.

"If I don't wear it then nobody else should." ????????? Wow! Now that is a King sized ego.

Mr James appears to have an IQ equal to his practice jersey number.

This should have been am automatic tribute the moment Jordan "officially" retired once and for all, or definitely presented to him during his induction on the Basketball HALL of FAME.
I'm sure you are going to hear the comparisons to Bill Russell, The Big O, Kareem and a host of others that are deserving of high praise, but not a League honor such as Retiring the #23. MJ not only made an enormous impact in the NBA, but MJ made an impact in yesterday's and even today's culture. I have a daughter who is seven and when I went to her end of the year program in 1st grade last year, their were 6 year old boys who stated that Michael Jordan was their favorite athlete...ARE YOU SERIOUS.....6 YEAR OLDs aren't even at an age to appreciate MJ as a player and yet MJ remains to this day as the greatest athlete in every generation, young and old. MJ's impact in sports includes, current salaries (AROD-MLB), commercials (Peyton Manning-NFL) , apparel (Lebron James), the way he carried himself (DWade), endorsement deals, do we even have to mention the most selling self titled athletic footwear of all time.

I remember when I was a teenager and saw MJ wear diamond studded hoop earrings during an interview, prior to that I just had made it up in mind that earrings was something for the females, but when I saw MJ make it look manly, I went right out and got my ears pierced, and bought the same exact earrings LOL!!

MJ has done what no other figure has come close to doing, not PELE, not Tiger, not even Obama!!

Retire the man's Jersey for goodness sakes....there will never be another MJ ,ever!

WTF are you guys stupid i think 23 should be retired by the bulls not the whole league its just a number like seriously just because the what almost everybody calls Best player ever wore it does not mean that nobody else can wear it i just think thats stupid

I cant believe it has taken this long for this subject to be approached. Of course Jordan's 23 should be retired by the league, he globalised the sport. Magic and Bird made the sport interesting again in the United States, but Jordan made the game interesting world wide. Even if you are not interested in basketball you know who Michael Jordan is, and he got to that iconic status by taking the game to another level, as the add suggested 'everyone wants to be like Mike'. I think it is disrespectful of any player, including Lebron James, to wear this number. Give the man the respect that only he deserves and retire his number from the league.

I still say "Jordan" when doing a reverse I echo Byron; the NBA should retire #23 across the league in honor of the greatest basketball player of all time.

Bad idea unless we want to move towards 3 digit jerseys. If we retire MJ, what about Magic?, Wilt?, Dr. J, Bill Russell? Elgin Baylor. Shaq, Oscar Robinson?, Larry Bird? Kareem? and the greatest player of all times - Dennis Rodman?

Yo, Lebron can switch his jersey in appreciation of MJ, but for him petition for no one to wear is stupid. Jackie Robinson was the first african american in the mlb, MJ is debately one of the greatest ever but that was for the bulls only, not the heat. What next Carmelo and D Wade are going to have requests and players are going have to tag along, Whack!!!

Anybody who thinks what Michael Jordan did equals Jackie Robinson needs to have their head examined. Someone should ask Michael himself what he thinks. Also, Lebron wants to take Bill Russell's number, who ahem won 11 championships to Jordan's 6, more rings than fingers, was the first championship black coach in the league and endured racism throughout his career. Russell deserves to have his number retired more than Jordan

The NBA should retire Jordan's 23 league wide. He has arguably had just as much impact on basketball, if not more as Gretzky did for hockey, and 99 is retired in the NHL league wide. One of the rare instances when the NHL and Bettman got something right that the NBA has not.

Much as I enjoyed MJ as a rabid Bulls fan, I don't believe his number should be retired for the whole league. In fact, I find it odd that the Heat retired his number. I don't think any team should retire the number of a player who didn't play for them.

MJ was the best ever and did so much to globalize the sport, but let's not make him out to be some sort of basketball pioneer and messiah. At the end of the day, he's still one incredible player on one team. (I choose to forget his Wizards days.) He has his Bulls jersey hanging in the rafters, his name in the Hall of Fame, his own shoe line, and a big bronze statue of him in action in front of the arena. I think that's enough for any one man, even the best ever.

It's obvious you people don't see the big picture, Ask yourself this... Why did the N.B.A. decide to put Jerry West on the logo ? I guess to honor him for all that he has done for the game , but Michael took the game as well as the nba to an international level that jerry, magic, larry, or even the great bill russell couldn't do.If Michael Played in the time of Bill and Wilt he would of won at least 13 rings not to mention he could of easily won 9 in a row in his era after the first 3 peat he retired for 18 months came back lost the first year in the playoffs to the orlando magic comes back the following year after he's tweaked his skills just a little and 3 peats again ,those other guys are great but even larry bird said Michael Jordan is GOD disguised in a uniform , magic said he's the best ever , barkley as well , and the nba honors jerry west and nobody seems to think thats unfair , what pat riley did for michael jordan in miami shows how much Michael means to the game I didn't see pat retire Bill Russell's jersey or even Jerry West , Because in the end I think what Pat was trying to say when it's all said and done is This guys is an Icon and should never be forgotten , Im an African American so to see Him do that for mike really touched me it hurts me that the nba as a corporate giant tends to make african -americans work harder to be remembered or in every sport for that matter, in baseball #42 got retired but hank aron went through hell to just get through a game everyday. Barry Bonds just says he didn't do it and get's blackballed for life from mlb because they want him to be forgotten but a-rod juices it up everyday and he's getting 250 million in New York. Tiger Woods as well as the Williams sisters dominate so much they can't be denied, Babe Ruth I love the guy but he's German and we name a candy bar after the guy and Michael Jordan can't get his number retired league wide?? As long as Jerry West is on the N.B.A. Logo and Vince Lombardi's name is on the Super Bowl Trophy I believe in my heart That Michael Jordan has earned that right!

No way should they retire Jordan's 23. What about George Mikan (no Mikan, no NBA), Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlin. I don't even think Jordan is the all time best. Pound for pound the big "O" (especially), Wilt, Elgin Baylor and even Russell were better than him. Unfortunately they played before the internet, and ESPN and the world wide exposure/explosion of basketball. Just because you’re the most popular doesn’t mean you’re the best. I mean he is an all-time great, but not the best ever. If ESPN was around during Baylor's heyday they would have rename LA County after him. As for people who say if Jordan had played back in the 60's he would have won 9 or 10 straight championships, please.
Remember he would be playing the style of basketball they had back then. we didn't have Air Jordan shoes, we didn't weight train (a huge difference) there was no arthroscopic surgery, we didn't have the diet today's ballplayer have, and we were taught to dribble predominately with our strong hand, so we didn't work on our off hand as much as they do these days so we weren't as good as ball handlers as they are now
So unless Jordan was playing for the Celtics he would have been in the same boat as Baylor, West, Wilt, Oscar and the rest, a looser to Boston.

yes his number should be retired even though alot of great players have been in the game. He has changed the way the game is played. he has made his name a brand in the game. he has made it possible for other players to brand their names as well

Hell yeah!!! You know what... he should be on the PGA, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL logo for god sakes!!!! he is the best athlete in the whole planet. If you mention his name in the middle of the Amazon they know who MJ is... even the Egyptians knew MJ was coming why do you think their empire was destroyed cuz of MJ LOL!!! No in serious notes he is the best there has been and really change the game how we look at it and how we follow it. Yeah, we had player before MJ that were great but every player helped create MJ. He was the best in everything PPG, Asts, reb, defensive, offensive, wining rings, mvps, ended the Byrd/Magic era before its time. How many legend he left without a single ring. So you guys are telling me that he doesn’t deserve his # to be retired. Come on... Close your eyes and think "Great Basketball" who are you going to think about... MJ.
They should retire #23 right now and change the logo its getting old.

In another note they should retire #21 from MLB, tribute to Roberto Clemente. RIP

Bull's fans need to get a grip on reality. MJ is the best so far. In fact if Michael played today I doubt he would win as many championships. Jordan dominated in a game that was maturing towards more athleticism. Jordan was an amazing athlete first. He was faster and stronger than so many of his contemporaries. But don't forget, the Bulls did not win until Pippen and Rodman arrived. Until that point teams like the Celtics could play by Jordan rules. Jordan helped increase the image of the NBA but he wouldn't have been who he was without the likes of players like Oscar Robinson, Dr J, Magic and Bird. MJ is great and meant a lot for Chicago. But honestly, to retire his number in Boston or LA. Sorry, those two basketball franchises owe nothing to MJ.

This is the dumbest thing Ive heard! Comparing MJ to Jackie Robinson is LUDACRIS!

Jackie got his number retired because of what he did for his race, not for being the greatest Baseball Player. That would be Babe Ruth.

The argument would be to have MJ's numebr retired the same way Babe's is - which we all know that its not retired.

Go figure

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