James has filed paperwork with the NBA to change his uniform number next season to No. 6 from No. 23, the league confirmed yesterday. James said earlier this season he would be willing to give up No. 23 in an effort to have the league retire it in honor of Michael Jordan. Paperwork had to be filed this week to request a number change for next season.
James, who declined interview requests Tuesday, is going from one legendary number to another. Julius Erving and Bill Russell have both made No. 6 famous.
James wore No. 6 with the U.S. Olympic team and wears it every day at practice. He isn't the first superstar to change numbers mid-career. Among others, Jordan briefly wore No. 45 after coming out of retirement with the Bulls and Kobe Bryant more recently switched from No. 8 to No. 24.