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.