Michael Jordan says ‘I’m cool’ with LeBron James wearing No. 23


A Cavs fan watches coverage of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland. (Angelo Merendino / Getty Images)

Not that he’s going to go out and buy a jersey or anything, but the guy who “owns” No. 23 has no problem with LeBron James wearing it in his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers this fall.

“I’m cool with it,” Michael Jordan told ESPN.com in a text message Monday. “I don’t own a number.”

Maybe not, but no one is more identified with it than MJ, as James knew as a basketball-loving kid growing up in Ohio. He wore the number for his first seven seasons with the Cavs, then changed to six when he signed with the Miami Heat. Although he once said the number should be retired league-wide, he announced Sunday that he’s changed his mind about that part, at least as it pertains to one player.

For his part, Jordan, in a video for the NBA 2K14 game last fall, said he isn’t concerned about how he’d measure up against Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and James. Only one guy causes doubt to creep into his mind and even then Jordan expressed his feelings in the most Michael Jordan way ever.

“I don’t think I would lose — other than to Kobe Bryant because he steals all of my moves.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Marissa Payne · July 28, 2014

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