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Saturday, May 20, 2006

NBA's 23

In the NBA, Jersey number 23 simply means Michael Jordan. As simple as that. This indication is an apt tribute to one of basketball's finest players, if not the finest.

However, there are still a number of players wearing the number 23 on their jerseys. It is understandable that these players are paying homage to their basketball hero, but it is disappointing that a lot of players happen to have used this number in their careers.

One of the most glaring is Lebron James, who in fact seems to be destined to become the only player in NBA history who wears the same number as His Airness to reach the level of which Jordan competed and played, if not surpass it. Both are similar in a sense that they have a complete game, although James is taller and has a better physique. And at this stage, he may be the best 21 year old player who played the game, and better than Jordan was when he was 21, no question about that.

Which brings me to the problem about his jersey number. Lebron has the gift, talent, and character to be one of the most identifiable players in NBA history, granted that he keeps his game. But at the same time, he would also be known as the player who used Jordan's jersey number. I know, it's not really a big deal, but he is on his way to making a name for himself in basketball, and he could have used a different number rather than a number from a player that is respected and revered worldwide.

A suggestion to Lebron James, and to other Jordan worshippers out there who are even planning on thinking of donning 23 in their jerseys: wear a different number fer Christ's sake! Invent a new number: 79, 57, 46, 63, 09, whatever that's not yet done before. Don't be like Jordan because you're not! You're a different player than he is, maybe similar but ultimately not the same.

If you're still intent on using the Jordan Number, kudos to you. Just don't complain if everybody's using it too.

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