The Real Deal: Lebron James, Michael Jordan, And Jersey #23

4 03 2010

LeBron James is switching his jersey from #23 to #6 out of respect for Michael Jordan (image via Melrose)

True to form, LeBron James made a huge deal about changing his jersey number from 23 to 6.

James chalked it up to respect for Michael Jordan, who famously donned a 23 jersey when he dominated the NBA. But many fans felt James was being insincere and just looking to cash in on even more jersey sales.

This argument is exemplified by the fact that number six was worn by 11-time titleist Bill Russell and his fellow NBA superstar Julius Erving.

But as it turns out, James won’t be making any extra income from the jersey switch.

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell:

In the NBA, unlike the NFL, the money made from jersey sales and other licensed products has been shared equally since the 1995 group licensing agreement was put together by the union.That means that LeBron’s teammate Anderson Varejao makes as much as LeBron, even though sales of James’ jersey ranks second in the league and Varejao isn’t close to the top 50.

But just because James won’t be breaking the bank off his licensed gear, it doesn’t mean the switch to number six can’t pay off.  James has an extremely successful line of basketball clothing and shoes with Nike, that features his “L23” logo.

If that image changes to “L6” diehard James fans will surely be eager to get in on the action.

Watch Sports Center to learn more about LeBron James’ recent jersey switch>




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