Everyone has been watching The Last Dance and admiring Michael Jordan ability as one of greatest players to ever play basketball. The Last Dance follows Michael Jordan’s career with the Chicago Bulls, his first retirement and then his second three-peat with the Chicago Bulls accumulating in the NBA finals in 1998. But what people might not of noticed is what jersey Michael Jordan wore during his basketball career. As Jordan wore more than the iconic number 23 jersey.
What jersey number did Michael Jordan wear? Michael Jordan primarily wore the number 23 jersey however, he also wore the number 12 for one game, the number 9 for the USA and the number 45 when he came back from retirement in 1995.
We look through Michael Jordan’s career and see the jersey numbers that Michael Jordan wore, whether it was representing an NBA team, his country at the Olympics or his stint in baseball. We also explain one of the most important questions, why did Michael Jordan wear 23?
Why did why did Michael Jordan wear number 23?
Michael Jordan chose to have number 23 as his jersey number when he played for Laney High School in North Carolina. It is believed that he choose the number because it was half the number of his brother Larry who wore 45. Jordan was fiercely competitive with Larry particularly when it came to basketball.
What number did Michael Jordan wear with North Carolina?
Michael Jordan continued to wear the number 23 jersey at North Carolina. He he won an NCAA championship whilst wearing number 23 jersey.
What Jersey number did Michael Jordan Wear in the Olympics?
Michael Jordan first represented the United States at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Due to the numbering of basketball jerseys for the Olympic games, Jordan was unable to wear his normal 23 jersey. The numbering of the Team USA jerseys went from 4-15, Jordan opted to wear the number 9 jersey. Team USA dominated the competition and Michael Jordan left with an Olympic gold medal.
Michael Jordan returned to the Olympics in 1992 as part of the USA Dream Team. Previously, only amateur players had taken part in the Olympics. However, the Dream Team was crammed full of NBA talent. Jordan wore the number 9 jersey again for the United States and won another gold medal.
What Jersey Number did Michael Jordan wear for Chicago Bulls (1984-1993)
Michael Jordan wore number 23 with the Chicago Bulls. The last person to wear the number 23 jersey prior to Jordan’s arrival at the Bulls was Ollie Mack in the 1980-81 season. The number 23 became symbolic with Jordan as a player. The number 23 was so iconic that it actually led to Michael Jordan having to wear a different jersey for one game.
On Valentines Day in 1990, the Chicago Bulls were playing at the Orlando Magic. When Jordan arrived at the game his number 23 jersey was missing from his locker. Jordan’s jersey had clearly been stolen however, there was no replacement 23. In fact the only jersey that Chicago had for Jordan to wear was the number 12. Jordan wore the number 12 on this one occasion.
When Jordan retired to play baseball the Chicago Bulls retired his number 23 jersey.
What Jersey Number did Michael Jordan Wear for the Birmingham Barons
When Jordan left basketball for baseball he saw it as a new beginning and didn’t want his baseball career to be associated with the number 23. Therefore, Jordan decided to wear the number 45 to signify this new chapter.
What Jersey Number did Michael Jordan wear for the Chicago Bulls (1995-1998)
Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995 with the simple message, ‘I’m back’. However, unlike his baseball career Jordan did not choose a new number. Nor did he return his to 23 number as previously mentioned, the Chicago Bulls had retired the number.
Jordan wore the number 45 for 22 games, on his 23rd game Jordan reverted to the number 23. The change in jersey number was costly for the Chicago Bulls as they had to pay a fine for every game that Michael Jordan did not wear the number 45. This cost the Chicago Bulls an estimated $100,000 until the end of the season.
What Jersey Number did Michael Jordan wear for the Washington Wizards
Following the attacks on the 11th September 2001, Michael Jordan returned to the NBA and played for the Washington Wizards. Jordan donated his salary to the relief effort for victors of the attacks. Jordan continued to wear the number 23 jersey. When it was announced he would retire again, the Miami Heat retired the number 23 jersey, even though Jordan had never played for them.