Update: After this story ran, the Los Angeles Lakers confirmed that Josh Hart will change his jersey number.
Original story follows.
Lakers guard Josh Hart showed off a ton of changes he’s made to his game during Las Vegas Summer League as he won MVP of the tournament this month, but they won’t be the only differences when he takes the floor next season.
As many NBA storylines seem to in recent years, it all started with a cryptic tweet about two weeks ago:
#3— Josh Hart (@joshhart) July 13, 2018
However, that could mean anything, and didn’t necessarily indicate a jersey number change.
Still Hart might be looking to get back to his roots, even while changing a ton over the past year, and this story got some legs Thursday night, when the Lakers Store appeared to confirm the change of Hart, with an image teasing a potential return to the No. 3 he wore while playing for Villanova in college:
Looks like @joshhart will be swapping numbers this upcoming season! pic.twitter.com/DcrzZkEBmb— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) July 27, 2018
But was this a mistake by the online vendor, or an indicator that Hart’s number was actually changing next season? Our own social media guru Grant Goldberg decided to use the Silver Screen and Roll Twitter account for some old-fashioned investigative journalism:
Old college number, new pro number? Is @joshhart switching it up? pic.twitter.com/Nt7opgO9tO— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) July 27, 2018
Hart didn’t exactly give a direct response, but by sharing Grant’s jersey swap with the No. 3 on his Instagram, he seems to be indicating that he will indeed be returning to his old number when he takes the floor next year:
(However, it’s worth noting the store has since gone back to only offering No. 5, indicating they may be trying to wait for the new jerseys to be officially revealed before changing this)
Either way, Hart going back to No. 3 doesn’t functionally change much for the Lakers, but it’s just one more thing about Hart and the rest of the roster that has changed this summer.
Plus, those Sunday white jerseys are fire, so for fans looking to stand out amongst a sea of LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma jerseys at Staples Center or around Los Angeles, it was worth taking a look at those alone, number change aside.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.