Wilt Chamberlain, Warriors (13), Lakers (13) and 76ers (13) Wilt Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to have his jersey retired by three teams. The Golden State Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers have all retired his jersey.
As of 2022, only two teams in the NBA do not have any retired numbers: the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors. Two players have had their numbers retired by teams they did not play for, and only one player (Bill Russell) had his number retired league-wide.
The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat retired the number 23 in honor of Michael Jordan. Jordan never played for the Miami Heat. Jordan is one of the 14 people to have a number retired by two different teams.
No NBA player has ever worn the number 69, which is believed to be implicitly banned due to its sexual connotations; the NBA has never confirmed this. Dennis Rodman allegedly requested the number 69 when he joined the Dallas Mavericks but was refused and instead wore 70.
NBA players are not allowed to wear numbers higher than 99 for NBA games. The NBA has attempted to make changes in the past but was met with a lot of pushback by fans. Those who were used to watching their favorite players wearing specific jersey numbers especially retired jerseys.
And yes, every franchise has retired Jackie Robinson's “42,” but the Yankees (Mariano Rivera, 2019 Hall of Fame inductee) and the St. Louis Cardinals (Bruce Sutter, 2006 Hall of Fame inductee) have retired it twice, given that Rivera and Sutter wore the number before it was retired MLB-wide in 1997.
Hall of Fame George Mikan is the 11th player in Los Angeles Lakers history to have his jersey raised to the rafters. Full ceremony: Lakers retire George Mikan's No. 99 jersey in a pregame ceremony. The Los Angeles Lakers retired Hall of Famer George Mikan's jersey Sunday night in a pregame ceremony.
45 when he came back to the Bulls. For him, it was about starting a new phase of his life following the tragic death of his father. “I didn't want to wear 23 because I knew my father wasn't there to watch me, and I felt it was a new beginning and 45 was my first number when I was playing in high school,” Jordan said.
Russell recently passed away, but players who still wear the number will be allowed to use it until they retire. Former Heat player LeBron James wore the number in Miami from 2010-14 and is wears it now for the Los Angeles Lakers.
After his retirement, NBA team Miami Heat also retired its first-ever jersey number— 23 — honouring Michael Jordan for his contributions to the sport. Jordan hadn't played for the Heat during his career and the team's act of retiring his jersey number showed the respect 'MJ' enjoyed from the entire NBA world.
Some sports that retire team numbers include baseball, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, American football, and association football. Retired jerseys are often referred to as "hanging from the rafters" as they are, literally, put to hang in the team's home venue.
Before Michael Jordan came around, Lou Hudson owned No. 23. Sweet Lou, who was known for his perfectly consistent stroke and ability to rain in perimeter jumpers long before there was a three-point arc to aid his efforts, wore the number throughout his entire career.