Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Honor Or Retire?

LeBron James wants NBA players to give up their No. 23s to honour Michael Jordan. "King" James has worn 23 since he was a high school sophomore and stated recently that he believes players should pay tribute to Jordan for the Hall of Famer’s impact on the game. I have no issue with that. There is no denying that Jordan was the force that has marketed the game of basketball internationally and grown the NBA in popularity so If players want to honour that he is probably the greatest player even then so be it. Do I think that the number should be retired? NO.

He may be at the top of the mountain now but to be fair the only reason there is a mountain to be on top of is because of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. That 1on1 rivalry and the Lakers-Celtics rivalry all but saved a league that was in major trouble and in need of a major image change. If their numbers 32 & 33 aren’t retired 23 should not be either.

Lebron is not the first to either change a number or even think about doing so. For years you would see #8 Bryant Lakers jerseys everywhere. Then as part of his image re-birth after his off court - court issues he re-invented himself and his image and boom now he is 24. Lebron has said that if he were to change his number it would be to 6. That Maybe not the best idea either as Bill Russell was #6 and he has the most rings and is regarded as one of the best team players of all time...can you honor one and snub another and not be a hypocrite? I guess if anyone can it is the King. Also lets be clear, he will change his number. That is the beauty of merchandising, all the Lebron followers will be ready to make the switch too. They will embrace the change and purchase the new swag.

What is the true motivation, a tribute to MJ or a padding to Lebron’s increasingly rising pocketbook? Probably a little from column A and a little from Column B.

No comments: