By Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports
In just one offseason, Anthony Davis has been gifted jersey numbers by both LeBron James and… “NBA 2K.”
The former New Orleans Pelicans star, traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, was famously set to take over James’ signature No. 23 upon joining his fellow All-Star on the West Coast, with LeBron himself offering it to Davis. After Nike cited “potential production and finance issues” in delaying the swap until 2020-21, however, AD turned to none other than a video game to help him navigate the path forward.
“Honestly,” Davis told Jimmy Kimmel this week, “I just chose No. 3 — I went on ‘2K,’ the video game .. so I’m literally in my living room, on the video game, going to myself, ‘Edit Player,’ and I’m going through all the numbers.”
While “2K,” which will feature Davis on its 2020 cover, helped inspire the decision, James’ new big-name teammate said that his earliest days on the hardwood also played a part in going from No. 23 to No. 3.
“It was my elementary school number — first number I ever played basketball in,” he said. “I saw No. 3, and I was like, this takes me back to elementary school where it all started.”
That’s not to say Davis isn’t still a little upset he couldn’t have made his Lakers debut in No. 23.
“We went to dinner, the first time we went to dinner since the trade happened, and (LeBron) was, like, ‘Man, look, here’s 23,'” Davis recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, wow, thank you, LeBron.’… (But Nike said) ‘we don’t care who you guys are; that’s too much money.’ So I was a little hurt.”