LeBron James will go back to wearing number 6 with the Los Angeles Lakers since the 2021/22 NBA season. That way, he'll leave number 23 behind as he did during his stint with the Miami Heat, this time for good.
James has been in the league since 2003. Not many players manage to stay in the NBA for 8 years, let alone 18. You could argue that he's had a Hall of Fame career in every single one of the teams he's played.
LeBron James 23 vs. 6: Full Comparison
LeBron James With Number 23:
Stats: 27.0, PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.6 APG, 49% FG
Awards: 8 All-NBA First Teams, 2 NBA Championships, 2 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs
LeBron James entered the league donning number 23, which was one of the reasons why he earned a lot of criticism. Some people said that it was disrespectful to Michael Jordan, even though he wore it as a tribute.
James has spent most of his career with that jersey number, so it's not strange to see that he's got more All-NBA first team and All-NBA selections. He blossomed into the star he is nowadays with that number.
Then, after a 4-year hiatus, a more mature LeBron James went back to number 23. He took the Los Angeles Lakers to their first NBA Championship in over a decade, still dominating the league the same way he did when he was 20 years old.
LeBron James With Number 6:
Stats: 26.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.7 APG, 54.3% FG
Awards: 4 All-NBA First Teams, 2 NBA Championships, 2 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs
Miami Heat LeBron James was peak LeBron James, at least physically speaking. James a bulldozer driving through the lane in South Beach, and Erik Spoelstra brought out the best of his game.
James was, undoubtedly, the best player in the world during his four years with the Heat. He was bigger, stronger, faster than anybody else, and his playmaking skills were just off the charts. He won back-to-back rings MVPs and made it to 4 straight NBA Finals with that number.
LeBron's tenure in Miami didn't end the way he expected and crazy as it may seem, there was still another level he could take his game to. He slowed down a bit, used his mind more and his body less.
LeBron James 23 vs LeBron James 6: Which LeBron Was Better?
At the end of the day, there's no way to say that one is better than the other. LeBron James is the only player in NBA history that could still be in the MVP conversation at age 36, the same way he was at 25 years old.
Number 6 gave us perhaps James' best years in terms of physicality and showmanship. His stint with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will most likely go down as his most successful tenure in the league and it gave him his first of four rings.
But Number 23 gave us everything else. The rise of an up-and-coming star, the comeback, fulfilling his promise of bringing a championship back home and then taking the Lakers back from the ground.
Basketball-wise, entertainment-wise, you could say that Number 6 LeBron was more fun to watch. But from a narrative-based perspective, Number 23 LeBron has the most - and more important - memories.