Nike CEO Phil Knight must be peeing in his pants. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Lebron James filed paperwork with the NBA to change his uniform number from No. 23 to No. 6. Get ready for the merchandise explosion in both old and new Lebron James paraphernalia.
The move is brilliant for two reasons:
1) Collectors will now scurry for current No. 23 Lebron jerseys like the anti-Obama crowd rushed to hoard guns; and,
2) Fans will add the No. 6 Lebron jerseys to their list of must-have items.
Sports purists and fans less cynical than I am will defend Lebron’s number swap as a way for the future hall-of-famer to further distinguish himself from the legendary Michael Jordan. I’m sure ego is involved, but I can’t think of a better way for an icon to boost sales than submitting a little paperwork to David Stern (who, by the way, is an incredibly savvy businessman).
Once Lebron switches numbers, his next merchandise windfall will come when he changes teams. Gotta have that fresh jersey!
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