The LeBron Switch is Not About the Number

LeBron James is arguably the best player under 30 in the NBA, I don't think there is much debate.  So when he announced recently that "out of respect for Michael Jordan" he was going to wear the number 6 next year, there were a few eyebrows raised. There are currently 11 other players in the NBA who sport MJ's digits. (Most notably Marcus Camby and Kevin Martin, least notably Stephen Graham and Jodie Meeks).  So why is LeBron so concerned about the number?  I think it's because he is already thinking of a change of scenery next year and a little spiffing up for the ole brand. Sure there are huge marketing benefits for changing numbers. You may recall Kobe going from 8 to 24 a few years ago.  That switch pushed him past LeBron in jersey sales.  But in this case, I don't think LeBron is worried about selling gear in the near future.  And with all due respect to both messieurs James and Jordan, it's not about honoring MJ.  If it were, LeBron would realize that Bill Russell, a #6, (11 championships to Jordan's 6) should be honored as well. I like LeBron and think he is great for the NBA.  But let's get real, changing numbers is not about honoring anyone. It's about positioning for next year and marketing.  LeBron is a brand, and every once and awhile, brands need to be freshened up.  So let's not hide the fact that LeBron is a savvy marketer as well as an amazing athlete. One other note... I have decided to change my name in honor of Tom Landry (or maybe Tom Cruise, or Tom's Shoes, or TomTom GPS...).  I'm taking nominations for a new name to begin wearing next year.  It needs to meet two critical criteria... first honor someone famous (but not too famous) and secondly, look good on a jersey :) FKA Tom Cuthbert