Anthony Davis will wear No. 3 for the Los Angeles Lakers this season after it was revealed that LeBron James would not be able to switch digits with him. James wanted to give Davis his No. 23 as a gift once the big man was traded to the City of Angels, but for business reasons it was a bit too late.
Meanwhile, the story about how James originally gifted Davis his number, and if it’s any indication of the relationship between these two players, it could mean good things on the court.
“It was the end of the dinner,” Davis says. “He pulled out a card. He was like, ‘My wife wanted me to give you this.’ I was like, ‘Why is Savannah giving me a card?'”
Davis tore open the envelope and began to read the inscription.
“‘Welcome to L.A.’ such and such and such, ‘bro,'” Davis says, remembering the note. “I stopped reading. I said, ‘Wait, Savannah doesn’t even call me ‘bro.'”
He scanned to the bottom of the card for the signature: King James #6.
“Then he pulls the jersey out.”
From inside the to-go bag the waiter had brought over, James whipped out a gold Lakers jersey with No. 23 stitched in purple numerals.
“He was like, ‘This is yours.'”
Davis figured the gift to be one of James’ own jerseys. That was until he turned the jersey around: Across the shoulders, stitched just above the No. 23, was the name “Davis.”
“He was like, ‘I know you wanted 23,'” says Davis, who wore the number at both the University of Kentucky and all seven seasons in New Orleans. “For him to, in an instant, just say, ‘Here. Here’s 23. You can have it.’ … It was a cool moment.”
It seems like Davis and James will keep their respective numbers for now. Meanwhile, the real story is how this camaraderie will translate once the Lakers begin playing games. L.A.’s roster isn’t very good despite high hopes for their playoff success. They’re going to need James and Davis to display their offcourt connection at every opportunity.