Choosing a jersey number in the NBA can be dicey territory sometimes. The league has a long history, and organizations have retired so many jersey numbers over the years that there’s often not a lot to choose from. That means players sometimes have to forego the numbers they’ve worn in the past that are meaningful to them in some way.
For instance, when Kyrie Irving joined the Boston Celtics last summer, he wasn’t able to continue wearing the No. 2 that he wore in Cleveland. That’s because the Celtics – who have retired a whopping 23 numbers in their rafters – had already retired the No. 2 in honor of legendary coach Red Auerbach.
But no matter. Irving simply switched to No. 11, which is what he wore in high school. And now that the Cavs’ incoming rookie Collin Sexton – who they selected with the No. 8 pick in the draft last week – has joined the organization, Irving says he’s fine with Sexton wearing the No. 2 jersey, which is what he wore during his freshman season at Alabama.