Jordan doesn't want number retired

Via the Orlando Sentinal quoting NBA Access:

Michael Jordan appreciated the gesture from LeBron James, but he doesn't believe his No. 23 should be retired across the NBA.

was very nice, I totally understand that. But I'm a guy that says there
is no one great player in the NBA. The NBA lasts a lot longer than one
particular person so I understand what his point is. Magic Johnson,
Larry Bird, Bill Russell all those guys should have their jerseys
retired too. I understand his gesture, but I'm in the same group as
those guys so I wouldn't want to see my jersey retired unless you
retire those guys."

First, nice to see Jordan talk humbly about his place in the game relative to other greats.  Personally, I think he's easily the greatest to play the game, but it's nice of him to include some other greats up at his level.

As for the jersey, I think the league should do whatever Jordan wants on the issue.   The NBA owes Jordan any honor they can give him.   They, quite seriously, should have just given him a franchise for free for everything he's done for the league.  

When he was debating about coming back the first time, there was discussions about the league paying him a salary on top of the Bulls offer just to get him back into the game.   The guy single handedly increased the value of the NBA and it's franchises by billions.   That's billions.  With a B.  

When you look at how much revenue the Bulls make right now, that's almost all Jordan hangover.   Their high ticket prices and sweet stadium deal are all due to the times when Jordan played.  Without the stadium deal they got entirely due to Jordan, the Bulls would be operating at profit levels similar to other teams. 

Jordan is one of the richest athletes we've seen in the world, and yet he's still likely one of the most underpaid people in history relative to the worth he's generated for others. 

Personally, I like not having the number retired.   You see someone wearing 23 and think of Jordan.  You largely think how they fail to live up to Jordan.   I like having that memory around more so than having the #23 retired everywhere.  


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  • Agree with the last statement 100%. I actually like seeing 23 out there. Reminds you of him all the while making you smile knowing he's never going to live up to that number in 1million years.

  • I don't think Jordan should have the same accolades shown to him as Jackie Robinson...because he is not on the same level. Without Robinson, there is no Jordan. I think to retire the numbers of great players cheapens the honor given to Jackie Robinson...the most important athlete in sports history.

  • Its a good idead however than you get annoying people like Doc Rivers start crying about Bill Russell and others. I dont care what Magic, Bill, Larry did in the league because non of them had the impact MJ had in this league. MJ made this league what it is and diserves his number retired.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I don't think anybody is "crying" about Bill Russell...he was the first great black player in the league...and he suffered at one time for ways Jordan would never have to suffer. If you want to retire Russell, Chamberlain, Magic, Bird, Dr. J and others then sure, retire Jordan's number...because they all influenced the game like no other player before them. There is a reason why baseball retired Robinson's number and not Babe Ruth's number. And for the record, retiring Gretzky's number was stupid also...

  • Ok with out trying to research who wears #23 i will list what I know. There are 13 players wearing it.

    1. Wesley Matthews Jr.
    2. Gerald Henderson
    3. Lebron James
    4. Jason Richardson
    5. Tony Douglas
    6. Marcus Camby

    wow I need a little help lol.

  • They shouldn't retire his jersey across the league anyway, first of all because you then run into the what happens when someone is clearly more talented then him him in x number of years, although I realize even if this is the case few will acknowledge it, but still the precedent would be set to retire the jersey of the player you consider best across the league. Secondly for all Mike did for the game, he would not have done so without the marketing of nike, and the loss of the college players in the Olympics. He would not be nearly the global icon and the NBA would not be what it is today without those two factors, so should those groups be honored in some way? If they were to do anything I would prefer it be a change of the logo to him, but of course there is no way that would happen because the logo of him is the Jordan brand logo and any other deviation would not be considered him.

    On a minor note, retiring jerseys does not make a lot of long term sense and is shortsighted, it is only a matter of time before this forces everyone numbers till the lowest are in the 40s and obviously can eventually run out. Football is almost at the point now where some teams are going to have to start unretiring jerseys or cease to acknowledging there recent great players. Albeit its been more years with far more players on a roster but I will see this day in my life for the Packers, Bears and other old teams.

    Even more of a side note, sad to see he mentioned Russell as on his level. He too has bought into the legend. And if Lebron got his way MJ's legend would explode even more, until he becomes greater than Babe Ruth is in baseball. And even though I consider him arguably the best, even likely the best, I would not like to see this gross exaggeration because it is not necessary nor the best way to honor him.

  • Ok so Lou Williams and I remembered Devin Brown. So we need 5 more. I wont sleep till i hear it.

  • If you go off of Gretzky's performance...then Wilt has to have his number retired along with Jordan...the ones who bought the NBA back to prime time before Jordan showed up was Magic and Bird. There would be too many numbers retired across the league...wouldn't work.

  • What baseball did was right...understand that. Jackie Robinson DESERVED to have his number retired...what he went through because of the color of his skin was crazy. I don't think you retire the numbers of would have a bunch of numbers retired. I feel that the sports collectively have it right. You have halls of fame, number retirements, statues. I think his number being retired by the Bulls is enough along with the statue. I think he is more than happy with am I.

    As far as compensation...Jordan has pretty much had the run of things with two franchises, and has done a poor job. Does he have a right to do a bad job because he is an icon? NO! You want injustice? Kareem can't get a coaching job...that is injustice. Owners making money off of Jordan...that's capitalism.

  • CJ Watson
    4 more. They keep coming to me. Not sure if I will get the other 4. So many scrubs wear 23 lol.

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