With the LeBron recently “gifting” his number 23 to Anthony Davis and returning to number 6, it got us at JTP thinking what players, in our minds, “own” specific numbers? If I were to say number “7” do you immediately think John Elway or Mickey Mantle? Obviously answers differ generationally, locationally, etc. As Philadelphia sports fans born in the late 90’s, we will be giving who we most readily associate with some of the most notorious jersey numbers of all time.
The Captain and the leader of the Yankees dynasty of the late 90’s and 2000’s takes our spot as the “number one guy” for number two. Although we could’ve went with Moses Malone or Brian Leetch, we tip the cap to the Captain as number two in our minds.
As a Philly die-hard, you can’t fault me for going with “The Answer”. His true embodiment of a city and its culture cannot be forgotten; from the Step Over in the 2001 NBA Finals to crossing over Jordan, Allen Iverson is cemented as number three.
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Brett Favre’s sometimes careless passing of the football, you can’t argue his fervent popularity inside Wisconsin and across the country is almost unparalleled. He earns his synonymity with the number four.
Even with competition like Joe Namath, Aaron Rodgers, and Terry Bradshaw, the GOAT still takes the mantle of the true number twelve. Divide his jersey number by two? You get the number of Super Bowl rings he has so it seems only fair to classify number twelve as Tom Brady’s number.
The number twenty one has a esteemed collection of legendary players– from Tim Duncan to Roberto Clemente, twenty one is a number that cannot be messed with. However, the personality, flair, and just sheer talent of “Neon Deion” Sanders makes him the most closely associated with the historic number twenty one.
The debate for number twenty three might spark another debate on who’s the greatest basketball player of all-time but since LeBron has flip flopped numbers, MJ earns number twenty three– possibly the most iconic number in sports history.
Number thirty two has had some ups and downs– from the greatest football player ever Jim Brown to convicted felon O.J. Simpson, number thirty two has seen it all. However, the smiling face that reinvigorated the NBA in the 1980’s earns this spot. There’s something about that number thirty two shining on that Lakers yellow that just screams “showtime!”
Kareem “hooked” his way to owning number thirty three simply because of his dominance and the way he was able to change the game for almost twenty years. Simple as that greatness is always imprinted into the minds of the public.
The Phillies short-lived ace is what comes to mind when I hear number thirty four. Similar to Kareem, Doc’s just pure dominance of the game and modest attitude endeared him to Philadelphia and ever since his sudden passing it is almost impossible not to think of Roy Halladay when you think of the number thirty four.
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