LeBron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014-2015 season, after spending four years with the Miami Heat. While the All-Star has signed a two-year contract, a few questions remain unanswered about his first season back with his hometown team.
Cleveland’s starting lineup is still up in the air, as rumors continue to swirl that the Cavaliers could trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love. It’s also unknown what number James will wear.
For the first seven years of his NBA career, James wore a No. 23 jersey. When he signed with the Miami Heat, he changed his jersey to No.6. Now, Cleveland’s star player is undecided about what uniform to wear next season.
James has taken to social media to enlist the help of his fans. Posting a picture on Instagram and Twitter of himself wearing a No.6 and a No.23 Cavaliers jersey, he’s asked fans to vote for which one he should sport in his second stint with Cleveland.
There was a thought by some that James could choose No.32, which he’s never worn in the NBA, but wore during his freshman year in high school. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, retailers have been prepared to make No.6, No.23 or No.32 jerseys.
James’ original decision to switch from No.23 to No.6 had nothing to do with him joining another team. During the 2009-2010 season, James filed paperwork to change his jersey number for the following season. Earlier that year, James mentioned that he might switch numbers out of respect for Michael Jordan, who made the No.23 famous in the NBA.
While James had already planned to change his number before going Miami, he would've had no choice but to do so with the Heat. Even though Jordan never played for the organization, Miami retired his No.23 in 2003 when the Hall of Famer played his final game against the Heat.
Jordan wore a different number when he first came out of retirement. He returned to the league in 1995, wearing No.45. He switched back to No.23 for Game Two of the Chicago Bulls’ Eastern Conference semifinal series, and the team was fined $25,000 for allowing Jordan to make the change.
Multiple legendary players have worn No.6 in the league, including Both Bill Russell and Julius Irving. No member of Cleveland's current roster wore the number last year.
Just because the four-time MVP has yet to make a decision, it doesn’t mean fans can’t buy his jersey. The Cavaliers are selling an authentic James for pre-order for $300, according to Rovell.