CLEVELAND — Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James planned on gifting his #23 to acquired multi-time All-Star center Anthony Davis, but Nike says "No so fast."
Citing the amount of No. 23 James Lakers jerseys already produced for the upcoming season, officials at Nike put a haul to the proceeds, meaning the No. 23 is not going anywhere, at least not for this year. Should Davis choose to re-sign with the Lakers following the 2019-2020 season, then it is expected that James would give him the No. 23 and go back to the number he wore with the Miami Heat, No. 6.
“Due to production issues and the massive financial hit Nike would have absorbed from the No. 23 James inventory that’s already been produced, Nike could not accommodate the request for this season,” YAHOO! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported.
In 2015, James signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike reportedly worth over $1 billion paid out over the next 30 years.