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#6 Jerseys In-Demand; LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas Notables to Change their Numbers

12 March 2010 2,033 views

Update 7/2/10: Gilbert Arenas is changing uniform numbers “again”. As reported today, Arenas is apparently switching to #9 instead of the #6 previously (changed to). Just more insanity from Gilbert… we should expect this stuff by now.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

In what amounts to one of the biggest uniform/jersey related stories of 2010, the #6 jersey will soon become one of the most desirable for fans to scoop up.  Both LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas will be changing their jersey numbers next season in the NBA.

LeBron James Jersey Number Change Story (& theories)

Depending on who you listen to, LeBron James’ decision to change his NBA jersey for the 2010-11 season to #6 is either a tribute to Michael Jordan or a clever marketing ploy.

LeBron & his management group claim that the jersey switch, from #23 to #6, is a tribute to the greatest NBA player of all-time – Michael Jordan.  The NBA doesn’t retire numbers throughout the entire league, so the switch is entirely out of respect.  Other players have not followed suite (yet) either, so you have to wonder if the statements are legit.

On the other side of the fence, many are suggesting that James’ jersey change is a marketing ploy intended to boost his popularity and incite a shopping spree on his jersey.  Kobe Bryant did the same thing a few years ago when he switched from #8 to #24.  Kobe has the league’s top selling jersey – something that didn’t really occur until after the switch.  There were some legal issues & other things perhaps preventing his rise to the top, but nonetheless, his #24 jersey is selling very well.

I can see the marketing angle on this one as a pretty likely (real) reason in this case… James came into the league wearing #23 knowing damn well it was MJ’s number – he was his idol after-all.  So now, midway thru his 7th season he finally decides it’s fitting to switch uniform numbers?  I’m not buying it…

The coming year will dictate if the uniform number switch results in more sales of LeBron James jerseys or if he’ll still be trailing Kobe.  So far, no one else has changed their number out of respect to Jordan, so you have to really wonder in this case.

Gilbert Arenas Removing “Agent Zero” Moniker w/ Jersey Number Change

Knucklehead, err Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas also submitted paperwork on time to change his jersey number.  Originally w/ the “0”, Arenas used it as motivation to prove to critics that he would be a star – that he would be successful in the NBA.

Now, facing gun charges for his role in the now famous locker room incident, Arenas is apparently looking to start over and the jersey number is the first place to start.

Gilbert Arenas whole “Agent Zero” moniker has been branded around his jersey number, so now one would assume he needs a new nickname w/ the switch #6 for the 2010-11 season.  It’s unknown where Arenas will be even be playing next year at this point… the Wizards have been cleaning house lately & are attempting to void the rest of his contract (rumored).  So Arenas will wear #6, but which team is still up in the air – though Washington is still probably the most likely.

It’s unclear whether or not James’ announcement to switch to #6 affected Arenas decision – Gilbert is quite the oddball, so it wouldn’t be too outlandish to think he’s riding LeBron’s coattails w/ his selection.  I looked, but couldn’t find any reference to what jersey # Arenas wore in high school(s), so not sure if #6 is a throwback to those days or not… If you know, please post a comment 😉

Other Famous Athletes w/ #6 Jersey

Bill Russell
Julius Erving (Dr. J)
LeBron James (Olympics)
Andrew Bogut (hey, he’s big in Australia)
Stan Musial

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