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Let’s Fix the Newest NBA Epidemic

Written by Matlack

February 16, 2021

Even before the NFL season was over I was watching a lot of NBA basketball. As a dedicated and loyal 76ers fan I have watched just about every single game that they have played this year, as well as the 21 teams that they have faced.

While watching these games I have noticed a startling trend in the NBA that I can no longer keep quiet about. This is something that has peaked my interest in years past but with the addition of this current rookie class has entered threat level midnight in my stupid brain. 

I am of course speaking of the obscene number of stupid jersey numbers worn by NBA players. 

Let me be clear about what I mean by stupid numbers and start by going over numbers that I believe to be acceptable, not swaggy in some cases, but could become cool at any point with the right player. Those numbers are the following:

  • 0 – 15
  • 20-25, 28 if worn for Kobe/Gigi
  • 30-35
  • 40-45
  • 50-55
  • 77 if worn by Luka Dončić
  • 99 if worn by Tacko Fall or Jae Crowder

Any number outside of these options is completely unacceptable and unfortunately a new norm in the NBA. As a 76ers fan I now need to watch #39 Dwight Howard run up and down the floor, occasionally making a nice rebound or shooting from an entire foot behind the free throw line. 

Being this is very much a personal problem I am going to fix a few of these players numbers as well as rank which ones I believe are the worst. What kind of guy would I be if I didn’t make recommendations for these millionaires and their brands?

  1. Carmelo Anthony

Melo made his name on the Syracuse Orange back in 2003 wearing the #15, a classic and overall strong number for any wing player. When he was drafted by the Nuggets he kept 15 and had some of his best years as a NBA pro. When he moved to New York he changed his number to 7 (sound familiar), which although is allowed under my guidelines did not make a ton of sense. Why change the the number that made you famous? I changed my tune on this when his new brand Stay Me7o was announced because that is fucking classic. 

Unfortunately for Melo he made a very poor decision when joining the Blazers by choosing 00 (which shouldn’t have been allowed). 00 is overall a decent number, worn by Robert Parish, Aaron Gordon, and Roadrunner on the Tune Squad – EXCEPT when the star player of your team wears 0. Dame Lillard is the face of that team and deserves to be the only 0, in any form! Let’s fix this. When Melo joined the team last year 7 was available while 15 was retired. Being he can’t be 15 because of the retired number, 7 is the choice. 

  1. Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert having a number I don’t like really just makes sense all things considered. I don’t like his overrated defensive ability, spreading COVID to his teammates, and for having one of the most punchable faces in the NBA. Being the jersey number adds to my hate I am actually going to recommend he keeps wearing 27, a number that won’t be retired by the Jazz which will most likely bring him to tears. 

  1. Marcus Smart/Semi Ojeleye

I feel for Boston Celtics players, the Celtics have retired 23 numbers of the years including some of the best ones:

That being said, the numbers 36 and 37 are completely unacceptable. Just bad numbers with no swag whatsoever, numbers that if Aaron Rodgers saw them would be targeting their asses all over the field. 

Marcus Smart wore number 33 in college so I feel for him, there really aren’t a lot of options or things that could make sense based on that information.  Being he seems to be a same number twice guy and based on what I am seeing in 2014 when he joined the team, I am going to go with the only option for a double number with my parameters, 55. 

Semi Ojeleye played for two teams in college, Duke and SMU. While at Duke he wore #20 and at SMU he wore #33. Unfortunately neither option was available for him but he was lucky to have #44 available which in my opinion is a top 3 number of all time. Semi takes #44 and is no longer on the list.

  1. Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray is also #27, similar to the anti-christ Rudy Gobert, and may have the strangest choice of everyone on the list. Murray while at Kentucky wore number 23, possible the greatest number in basketball history. That number is not retired by the Nuggets and was available his rookie year. Let’s turn back the clock and switch our guy Jamal back over to number 23 for his NBA career. 

  1. Saben Lee

Ever heard of this guy? I sure didn’t!  Well not until the 76ers played the Pistons and I saw a #38 running around. #38 is such a pathetic NBA number that even though I had never heard of this guy, I feel compelled to help him. Saben played at Vanderbilt and wore number 0 averaging 18 ppg. He was drafted #38 in the 2020 NBA draft, hence the number choice, and I guess is using 38 to motivate him for the rest of his NBA career. You know what will be more motivating? Choosing a number of an NBA legend to think about every time you step on the floor. 23, 8, 24, and 32 are taken/retired so I am going to go with 33. Every time he puts on that jersey he can think of Scottie Pippen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Larry Bird to motivate himself. 

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