Skip to main content

Michael Jordan Once Had To Wear A Number 12 Jersey Because Someone Stole His Number 23 Jersey From The Locker Room

Michael Jordan Once Had To Wear A Number 12 Jersey Because Someone Stole His Number 23 Jersey From The Locker Room

Michael Jordan's number 23 jersey is arguably the most iconic in sports history. Jordan entered the league in 1984 and was assigned the number 23 by the Chicago Bulls. He immediately established himself as one of the best players in the league. With his improvement, his jersey number became absolutely iconic.

Michael Jordan's number became so iconic and sought-after, that someone stole his jersey from the Chicago Bulls locker room before Jordan and the Bulls were set to play a game against the Orlando Magic. As a result, Jordan had to wear a nameless jersey with a different number just moments before the Bulls took to the court to play against the Magic.

Just because Jordan was wearing a different number, it did not affect his performance at all. Jordan put on a signature performance against the Magic, scoring 49 points against them. Jordan outscored the rest of the Chicago Bulls starters by himself, as the other 4 starters combined to score 47 points compared to Jordan's 49.

Number 12 would not be the only number other than 23 that Jordan would wear. When he returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995, Jordan decided to try something new, as he wore the number 45 jersey, as that was the same jersey number he wore during his brief baseball stint. 

But he quickly went back to 23, especially after Nick Anderson mocked him for it during their series against the Orlando Magic. Jordan never went back to 45 after he made the jump back to 23.

Jordan wearing the number 23 jersey was iconic. He even inspired LeBron James to don the number 23 jersey when he entered the NBA, as Jordan was LeBron's favorite player while he grew up. LeBron's choice of jersey helped stoke more of the comparisons between the two players, more so than there were before.