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LeBron James not giving up No 23 jersey to Anthony Davis after all

Saturday 13 July 2019 08:15, UK

LeBron James faces up Anthony Davis in a 2018/19 regular season game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans

LeBron James won't be giving his No 23 jersey to new Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis after all, at least not until the 2020-21 season, multiple media outlets reported on Friday.

According to multiple reports, James did not file an official request to change numbers before the March 15 deadline, and Nike, the league's official outfitter, preferred not to make an exception due to financial implications.

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ESPN reports a jersey number change would have cost Nike "well into the tens of millions of dollars," based on unused inventory of James No 23 jerseys already produced.

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Yahoo Sports reported James decided to postpone the jersey change, desiring to avoid a distraction and giving consideration to fans who already bought his No 23.

Lakers team-mates Anthony Davis and LeBron James pictured together at Summer League in Las Vegas
Image: Lakers team-mates Anthony Davis and LeBron James pictured together at Summer League in Las Vegas

Yahoo reported in late June that James would give Davis, who arrived via trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, the number Davis has worn dating back to high school.

James was expected to take No 6, which he wore from 2010-14 in Miami between stints wearing No 23 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Later Friday night, Davis appeared to confirm the news on Instagram. Though his Instagram handle is still "antdavis23," the 26-year-old posted a photo of himself in a Lakers No 3 jersey with the caption, "Taking the number all the way back to elementary school! #3".

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