What Are The NBA Jersey Number Rules? (With Amazing Facts!)

What Are The NBA Jersey Number Rules

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If you are an avid fan of the NBA, of course, you are curious how the NBA players get the numbers on their jerseys. You wonder if they choose it or not. The NBA players have numbers so that they can be easily recognized by the fans and referees. 

For example, Stephen Curry. If Stephen Curry got a technical foul, the referees will tell the announcer the number of Curry. The announcer will announce the number of Stephen Curry to the audience so that the audience will be aware of who got the technical foul. 

Same with the referees. NBA referees have numbers on their uniforms too. The reason why is the same as the reason why NBA players have numbers on their jerseys. The number on the jersey is essential so that fans, players, coaches, and officials can easily recognize who that person is. 

Each NBA player has their numbers. They can pick from numbers 0-99. If an NBA player wants a retired jersey, the player needs to ask permission from the veteran to wear that jersey number. 

Today, we are going to talk about the different jersey number rules in the NBA. We are going to talk about different misconceptions of fans about the jersey rules. Also, we are going to answer various questions from the forums that no one has ever answered. Now if you are ready, let’s proceed!

Does The NBA Allow A Player To Wear Number 69?

No. There are no NBA players that have worn the number 69. The NBA banned the number 69 because of its sexual connotations, and they have confirmed this. 

NBA players can request a jersey number but the NBA needs to approve it first. Dennis Rodman was the first NBA player who requested the number 69 as his jersey number. It happened when Rodman moved to the Dallas Mavericks in 2000. 

Mark Cuban was very excited when Rodman came into his team. He even agreed to the request of Dennis Rodman to wear number 69. However, David Stern reviewed Rodman’s request and rejected it. Why? Because Stern felt that the number 69 has negative connotations. Because of this, Dennis Rodman wore number 70 instead. 

There are no NBA players that have ever worn number 69 and it is rare to hear an NBA player request to have it. Even though the NBA allowed it, most NBA players will still feel embarrassed when they have the number 69 jersey. I think you already know the reason why, haha! You know that laugh aren’t you.

What Are The NBA Jersey Number Rules
Dennis Rodman wearing number 70 instead of 69

Does The NBA Allow Three-Digit Numbers?

No. The NBA association doesn’t allow three-digit numbers on the jerseys of the NBA players. They only allow players to have two digits on their jerseys. An NBA player can have a number of 00 on his jersey but 000 is forbidden. He can choose a number from 00-99, except the number 69. 

NBA players are the ones who choose the numbers on their jerseys. Most of them pick a number memorable for them. If I was an NBA player, I would choose number seven because seven is very special for me. 

Do NBA Players Choose Their Numbers?

Yes! NBA players are the ones who choose the numbers on their jerseys. They can choose from number 00-99, except for number 69 because of some bad reasons. NBA players will choose the number that is memorable for them or has some memento. 

If a number is already chosen by their other teammates, they need to pick another. Also, if the number they chose is a retired number, they have to ask permission from the veteran who wore the retired jersey before.

Can NBA Players Change Their Jersey Numbers?

Yes! NBA players can change their jersey numbers. They can change their jersey numbers during the off-season. NBA players usually don’t change the numbers on their jerseys, but if someone asks for a change, the NBA needs to approve it first. 

It is rare to see an NBA player asking for a change on his jersey number. Kobe Bryant is one of the NBA players that asked his team for a jersey number exchange. 

What Happens When An NBA Player’s Number Is Retired? 

If an NBA player moved into another team or decided to leave the NBA and their jersey number is retired, no one can ever use it except if they approve it. In simple words, if an NBA player wants a jersey number that was retired by the team, they need to ask for the permission of the veteran who wore that retired jersey number. 

However, this happens rarely because there are no NBA players who have a big ego or are too brave to ask their team if they can wear the jersey number of a veteran. It will be like disrespect for the veteran who wore that jersey number.

For example, the jersey number of Michael Jordan. Jordan was the best player in the Chicago Bulls who wore the number 23 jersey. You will disrespect MJ if you ask him if you can use your jersey, especially if you are not as good as him. 

What Happens When An NBA Team Retired All Their Jersey Numbers? 

Have you ever imagined what would happen if an NBA team retired all their jersey numbers? Do you think it is time for them to change the minimum number into three digits? Here is the answer.

If the NBA is still around after a hundred years, they will just reuse the jersey numbers if the NBA team retires all of it. However, many things might happen. They might retire the whole franchise and build another team. Lots of possible things can happen. 

However, this might be impossible to happen. Only a few NBA players are worth it for a jersey number retirement. It’s like one out of ten NBA players. Yes, everybody in the NBA is good. But there are only a few players who deserve a jersey number retirement.  

Why Did Michael Jordan Wear Number 23?

The reason why Michael Jordan wears number 23 is because of his brother Larry. His brother Larry was playing on the varsity basketball team already before Jordan. Larry Jordan wore number 45. When Michael Jordan joined the team, he chose number 23 because it’s half of his brother’s jersey number. Jordan stuck with that number throughout his basketball career.

Final Words

The NBA jersey number rule is simple. NBA players can choose whatever number they like but from 00-99 only. They are not allowed to choose three digits and the forbidden number 69. The reason why number 69 was banned is because of its sexual connotation.

NBA players have their way of choosing a jersey number. They choose the number because it has a memento but sometimes it’s incidental. Whatever the reason why they choose that certain number, it is good that they have numbers on their jersey so that we can recognize them easily when we watch the game. 

What jersey number do you like to wear when you become an NBA player? What are the reasons why you chose that certain number? Comment your answers below! 

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