Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss says the team will eventually retire LeBron James’ jersey number.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, James is almost certain to receive the same honour with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat whenever he hangs up his sneakers.
Buss confirmed that James’ number will go up in the rafters alongside Lakers legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.
“The standard for having your jersey retired as a Laker is when a player is inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have absolutely no doubt that LeBron will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame,” Buss said in an interview published Friday with Sportskeeda.
“When he does so, then we will retire his jersey. Knowing that he will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he will have his Lakers jersey retired, no doubt about it.”
The question for the Lakers will be which number -- or both, as they did with Bryant (Nos. 8 and 24). James wore No. 23 when he led Los Angeles to its 17th NBA title in 2019-20. He switched to No. 6 for the past three seasons but said he is reverting to No. 23 in 2023-24 out of respect to the late Bill Russell. The NBA has retired No. 6 league-wide to honour Russell.
“That’s a discussion for another time,” Buss said.
James, 38, averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 55 games (54 starts) last season. He has averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 278 games (277 starts) in five seasons with the Lakers.
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