LeBron James is changing his number next year from 23 to 6.
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers star says it’s out of respect for Michael Jordan, who wore the number, many cynics have said that James will sell more jerseys and therefore make more money.
That’s actually not the case.
In the NBA, unlike the NFL, the money made from jersey sales and other licensed products has been shared equally since the 1995 group licensing agreement was put together by the union.
That means that LeBron’s teammate Anderson Varejao makes as much as LeBron, even though sales of James’ jersey ranks second in the league and Varejao isn’t close to the top 50.
NFL players do get cut a check based on how well their jersey sells.
James complied with NBA rules by filing for the number change before the end of this week. Players, who have played on the same team, have to wear a number for five years before they can change. If a player changes teams, which LeBron might, a player can choose any number.
One piece of business that definitely will be impacted will be James' Nike "L23" logo, which is on all his shoes and apparel.
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