James engaged fans on both Twitter and Instagram by posing the question whether he should don the #23 he wore during his seven previous years in Cleveland or the more popular selling #6 jersey he sported as a member of the Miami Heat and USA Basketball.
A brilliant self-promoter, James got overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans regarding his new Cleveland Cavaliers jersey choice.
Though sports fans’ replies varied greatly, my two polar opposite suggestions were quite simple.
By the popular demand of fans, James should pick #1.
Quite simply, he is the best basketball player on the planet and just last week was acknowledged as the number one most popular athlete in the world according to a CBS Sports report. It was the first time in James’ well documented and hugely successful career he had been voted as the fans’ favorite.
He may still not be the number one paid player in the NBA, but without doubt he’s clearly the number one most respected, feared and coveted by players, coaches and fans.
And, #64 would be my alternate choice.
However, #64 as in 1964, is not just painfully known in Cleveland, but it’s universally understood by every sports fan throughout the Buckeye State and across our great country. James should wear the number as a constant motivator to lead the city of Cleveland to the professional sports league championship it has coveted since the Cleveland Browns last lifted an NFL championship trophy in 1964.
Sure, #64 may be interpreted as a sore reminder of Cleveland’s barren professional sports championship trophy case. But, it would be the premier protagonist for fans as well as for James whenever he sets foot in the Quicken Loans Arena and all other NBA venues.
With the swell of excitement and a tidal wave of expectation that James’ return has brought to Cleveland, the #64 on the back of basketball’s supreme talent just seems right to me.
Let Lebron don the unusual number until he wins an NBA title for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Then, let us all encourage him to ceremoniously retire #64 along with every Iron Belt sports fan’s 50 years of squashed dreams, unrealized expectations and aborted attempts at NFL, MLB and NBA championships.
Forget numbers 1 and 23; they’re passé.
Consider #1 in honor of the game’s top player.
But, choose #64 because sports fans everywhere will be rooting for the Lebron James led Cleveland Cavaliers to hoist the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Trophy in the city by lake.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!