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10 Legendary NBA Players whose Jersey Numbers were Retired

  • A look at 10 great players who got their number retired and how they got there.
Sahar Hadida
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 30 Jul 2018, 01:44 IST
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics retired 22 numbers, the most in the NBA

The greatest honour a basketball player can receive after his retirement is having his jersey number retired as well. The respect of having the team you represented prevent any other player from wearing the number you had on your back as a testimony of your great career.

Number retirement doesn’t come easy. Only the greatest of the greats earn this privilege and they had to work hard and play exceptionally well to get it. Moreover, it is evidence to how a single person can affect the legacy and history of a franchise and set his place in the hearts of millions of fans all around the world.

Some of the players who got their number retired by their team are also staples in NBA history. They helped shape the era they played in and were featured in some of the greatest moments and rivalries the league ever had to offer.

Here is a look at the greatest NBA players ever to have their jersey number retired.

#1 Michael Jordan, No. 23 retired by the Bulls and the Heat

Michael Jordan #23...
Jordan and his 1990's Chicago Bulls ruled the league with an iron fist, winning six titles in six finals appearances

Michael Jordan's name has become a synonym for the NBA. Widely considered the greatest of all time, Jordan and his 1990's Chicago Bulls ruled the league with an iron fist, winning six titles in six finals appearances.

It didn’t matter how good you were or how much Michael's health was in question, he was always better.


Jordan is Chicago's all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes. He is also responsible for the Bulls' first NBA Finals appearance and title in 1991, eventually winning six of those.

Chicago's greatest achievement without Jordan is reaching the conference finals, only once before and once after his era.

Jordan's legacy extends outside of Chicago, as he is fourth on the NBA all-time leading scorers list and holds the best career point average of 30.1 per game.

This might explain why the Miami Heat decided to retire his number as well in 2003, even though he never played a single game for the team.

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Published 30 Jul 2018, 01:44 IST
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