NBA / Oct 29, 2010 / 11:30 am

Dan Gilbert On Retiring LeBron’s Jersey: ”I’m Sure It Will Come Up”

LeBron James

Well, you might have been able to see this coming. First there was the letter – which Dan Gilbert has said on numerous occasions that he does not regret – and now this. When the Cavs owner was asked this week if the franchise would ever consider retiring LeBron‘s No. 23 jersey in Cleveland, he said he hasn’t discussed retiring any player’s jersey during his five years of ownership.

”I would assume that it’s something you would do when a player retires,” Gilbert told The Akron Beacon Journal. ”I’m sure it will come up. A 25-year-old player, I don’t know if any franchise or anybody can make that kind of judgment on somebody that young or until their career is over.”

Really? It’s not like LeBron is the franchise’s all-time scoring leader of anything. No big deal. For those of you wondering though, the Cavs have retired six numbers in their history: No. 7 (Bingo Smith), No. 22 (Larry Nance), No. 25 (Mark Price), No. 34 (Austin Carr), No. 42 (Nate Thurmond) and No. 43 (Brad Daugherty).

When we asked this question in late-July on the site, the responses varied. But now that the season has gotten underway, and wounds have healed, we thought we’d ask you again. Judging by Gilbert’s response, he most likely won’t have to make this decision for at least a decade.

What do you think? Should the Cavs retire LeBron’s No. 23 jersey?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

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  • Steve Nash

    Did the sixers retire Barkley’s Jersey?
    are the Magic going to retire Shaq’s?
    New Jersey did retired Dr. J’s…
    Did the Bucks retire Lew Alcinders?
    Will the Mavs retire Nash’s?

  • Vinnie V


  • JCarr

    No. Maybe in a 100 years when most of us are not alive and wont bring up the words: sell-out, coward, narcissitic traitor, and so on.

  • netstar

    it will all depend how the cavs fare over the rest of lebrons career.

    plus, if he is probably going to spend a majority of his career outside of cleveland, and that is going to define his legacy.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Steve Nash

    Yes, the Sixers retired Barkley’s number on March 30, 2001. The Nets retired Dr. J. The Bucks retired Kareem.

  • Jordanmvp4ever

    In 10-15 years every team will retire Lebrons Jersey ;)

  • Steve Nash

    than if those numbers were retired def LeBron’s # will… he played 7 years on the Cavs… assuming he plays another 9 years that is almost half his career…

    Numbers get retired for what they did to the franchise… well… in this case he did both great and bad… but the great will be hard to match by any other Cav player unless a ring is won!!!

  • JBFC

    Aron — after you suck LeBron’s balls, do you drink anything to wash the taste down? Or do you just let the taste of his balls linger in your mouth?

  • Detroit Dave

    All I’m saying os that Rodney Stuckey is wearing Ben Wallace’s number annd Ben Wallace made as much impact in Detroit as LBJ did in Cleveland.

  • karizmatic

    I don’t think they do, just because I don’t know how Cleveland will ever really feel better about the situation, but as was said before it depends how Cleveland does in the upcoming years. If they manage to field a great team and go on to do some things, then they might go ahead and retire LBJ, but if this becomes some point where they never really recover then I can’t see it.

  • nizzio

    They eventually will. He’s made too much of an impact to not be recognized.

  • JAY

    The should evntually retire it but I don’t think they will after all the shit he said about the city. How he grew up hating Cleveland and stuff like that. How he didn’t thank Cleveland fans until much later. I got the impression that he was just happy to be out of there.

    Lebron’s jersey retired in Cleveland is like Toronto retiring Vince’s jersey. If one happens, there’s a strong chance the other will happen too.

  • boomshakalaka

    LOL!!!! “wounds have healed”, that’s a good one.

    I gurantee you the wounds are far from healed.

  • Notorious

    They should retire #23 as a tribute to Michael Jordan, just like the Heat did, now that would be hilarious!

    Conspiricy theory… LeBron changed from #23 to #6 because he knew he was going to Miami last season and #23 was already hanging up.

  • Notorious

    @Detroit Dave, wrong man, Ben Wallace at least helped bring a title to the “D” before he left. :)

  • Dagger

    OBVIOUSLY. Lebron was the best player the Cavs will ever had. He made the franchise relevant and a yearly contender. Just because he left in free agency doesn’t mean the past 7 years never happened. And yes, I think the Raps should eventually retire Carter’s number, but then Carter quit on an entire season, and he didn’t have anything near the impact Lebron had on the Cavs.

  • sh!tfaced

    Not if the NBA suddenly decides to honor MJ by retiring his number 23 league-wide. Then Dan Gilbert’s dilemma will be solved…

  • where high ankle sprains happen

    or they find another player that is #23 who is just terrible doesnt even get off the bench makes that guy stay with them for like 15 yrs and then retire number 23 just to spite lesellout

  • marcus the great


    he didnt change his number to #6 in cleveland did he?

    he did that after he chose miami, and 23 was already retired…

    no conspiracy. nothing to see here, everyone move along

  • sh!tfaced

    …or just retire number 23 with the word “Traitor” written on the back of the jersey.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Eh. Not really. The NBA will retire that number before the Cavs do.

  • KB8toSG8

    Not yet…..depends on who the owner will be and how the Cavs do.

  • Jay10do

    Big Ben suck and VC washed up period, like Jordamvp4ever says 10-15 years everyone better retire KingJames jersey easy