LeBron James’ plan to give Anthony Davis his uniform number will be postponed until next season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
James had wanted to give his new Los Angeles Lakers teammate the No. 23 — which Davis had worn for his entire career in New Orleans — for the 2019-20 season.
When the Lakers inquired with the league about the jersey change, they were informed the March 15 deadline had passed, sources close to the situation told Yahoo Sports. However, the league would have allowed it if the team were able to work it out with Nike, the manufacturer of the jersey, sources said.
But due to production issues and the massive financial hit Nike would have absorbed from the No. 23 James inventory that’s already been produced, Nike could not accommodate the request for this season, sources said.
Out of consideration for fans who already purchased James’ jersey and to avoid distractions for a team competing for a championship, the Lakers star will bypass seeking the number change for this season.
Davis can hit free agency next summer because he holds a player option for the 2020-21 season.
James was expected to switch back to No. 6, which he wore when he was a member of the Miami Heat.
Davis is scheduled to hold his Lakers introductory news conference Saturday.
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