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Why LeBron James can't give Anthony Davis No. 23

Saturday July 13 2019

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers grimaces after a defensive play during the second half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO | SEAN H. HAFFEY |

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers grimaces after a defensive play during the second half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO | SEAN H. HAFFEY |  AFP

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LOS ANGELES

LeBron James will not be able to give new NBA teammate Anthony Davis his Los Angeles Lakers number 23 jersey because Nike would not approve the move, according to multiple reports Friday.

ESPN and Yahoo Sports, citing unnamed sources, reported that the swap would be delayed because of production and financial issues for Nike.

The apparel and shoe maker would be stuck with tens of millions of dollars in James 23 jerseys, ESPN reported.

The Lakers inquired about the number swap, which James wanted so Davis could keep the number he has worn throughout his NBA career and James would return to a number six jersey as he used when he played for Miami.

The team was told the March 15 deadline for a number change had passed but the league would have approved the request if the manufacturers approved the switch.

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Told of Nike's issues, James decided to postpone the move to avoid a distraction and respect those fans who had already purchased his 23 Lakers jersey.

James would have until March 15, 2020, to put in a number change request for the 2020-21 campaign.

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