Magic Johnson wants to see his legacy regularized league-wide. Hall of Fame Los Angeles Lakers The point guard called for the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday to retire Russell’s No. 6 jersey in the league. He made his stand on Twitter.
The proposed move would make Russell’s No. 6 streak obsolete, alongside No. 42 in MLB. Russell’s legacy as a court champion and civil rights defender certainly makes him a surprising candidate for an unprecedented NBA honor. It is a persuasive trick that comes from magic.
But there is one glimmer of hope for Johnson’s plan, which may not go over so well in Lakers land. In the short term, at least. LeBron James wears number 6. After wearing 23 for his first three seasons in Los Angeles, he made the switch in 2021. It’s the number he wore during his four-year run with the Miami Heat.
Here’s how he explained his decision.
“It’s always been a part of me, to be honest.” James said in 2021.. “Six means a lot to me, from my family and numbers and natural things to what I believe in and things like that, but my mindset doesn’t change.”
James has bounced back and forth from No. 23 to No. 6 throughout his career. Would he be involved with going back to No. 23 if he could pull off Johnson’s pitch while he’s still in the league? Clearly, this has a long way to go before it becomes a concern.
So far, there’s been no word from James — or Silver — regarding Johnson’s comments.