The number 23 is pretty huge, right? It’s the number all the GOATs across sport use, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, who really pushed the popularity of it. I feel like if Serena Williams had to choose a number, she’d settle on 23. I mean, she does have 23 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt.
If it’s not 23, it’s 33. Every time I suss out massive sporting stores like rebel, I see these two numbers everywhere.
Exhibit A: rebel has this Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James 2021 jersey in stock right now. It’s a special edition MVP jersey, predating James’ switch from wearing 23 to 6. So keep your eyes peeled for next year’s special edition jersey.
Apart from Michael Jordan and LeBron James, No. 23 has also been worn by absolute winners like Anthony Davis, who first donned the number in high school, as well as Lou Williams for the Clippers, and Draymond Green for the Golden State Warriors.
David Beckham, inspired by Jordan, even wore the number at one point. And cricket? Well, former Australian captain and four-time Allan Border medallist Michael Clarke had the number passed to him by ol’ mate Shane Warne.
Strong, strong number.
Exhibit B: This No. 33 Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen jersey from 1997/1998, also available at rebel.
No. 33 was also worn by legends of the game like Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Grant Hill.
There are a tonne of these jerseys at rebel, by the way. They’re basically the home of basketball for people new to the game to long-time fans after the latest and slickest gear.
Now if you’ve ever wondered what goes into choosing a number for a basketball jersey, it actually has a lot to do with the college league. I had a squiz on the ol’ internet and according to the Los Angeles Times, basketball leagues in America, no matter the level, have always used single and double digits between 0 and 5.
For example, that’s 1-5 and 50-55.
But why, you ask? The National Collegiate Athletic Association – college-level basketball – set this rule in stone because it allowed easier nonverbal communication between the refs, who used fingers to signal a player’s numbers.
In the NBA, however, players have always been free to choose any number between 0 and 99. But, according to the experts, choosing numbers with digits from 6 through to 9 are less common because players wanted to stick to the number they used in college.
The more you know!Image: High School Musical