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Anthony Davis says he’s sticking with No. 3 because he wants that jersey retired

Anthony Davis is hoping to see the Lakers hang his No. 3 in the rafters someday.

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Lakers and Clippers on opening day Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

When LeBron James announced his plans to change from jersey No. 23 to No. 6 with the Lakers for the 2021-22 season, it was assumed he was still doing so — at least in part — in order to offer the former number to Davis. James has already tried to give Davis No. 23 during their first offseason together as teammates in 2019, at least until the league stepped in and told them that Nike had already made too many “James No. 23” jerseys for the two stars to switch then. Davis went with No. 3 instead, and the assumption was that they would switch later.

But according to Davis, plans have changed. Despite James’ change to No. 6, Davis is going to stay with No. 3, and his reasoning is pretty sound.

“That’s the plan,” Davis said on a Twitch stream this week when asked why he was sticking with No. 3. “The plan is to have No. 3 hanging in the rafters, bro.”

This makes a ton of sense. Davis won a title in his first season wearing No. 3, and it would be strange for him to almost immediately change out of the number he has the best chance of getting retired by the Lakers. Or who knows, maybe he’s superstitious, and knows he hasn’t won a championship in No. 23, but is 1-2 in the No. 3 jersey. So obviously he should stick with a 50% success rate instead of a 0% one. That’s just basic analytics.

Now, I know what some of you might be saying: “Wait... aren’t these also arguments for James to stick with No. 23?” And sure, maybe. But James’ situation is different. Him choosing the Lakers resuscitated the organization from a decade on a deathbed of irrelevancy. Some won’t want to hear this, but because of how grateful the team clearly was for that, he was always a shoe-in to get a retired number almost no matter how his stint here went. Now, with one title in hand, maybe he’s gunning for two. Or maybe he just really likes No. 6, or wants to sell some more jerseys, or his change to No. 6 is just really important to the “Space Jam: A New Legacy” script. Or maybe all of the above. Either way, James’ reality isn’t quite the same as Davis’.

But as far as Davis goes, this is a good decision. And as a bonus, now everyone that rushed out to get a No. 3 jersey the second they dropped in 2019 won’t have to just use it as a throwback. AD3 is here to stay.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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