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Anthony Davis on Nike blocking jersey number swap with LeBron James: 'I was a little hurt'

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Anthony Davis is settling into life as the newest star of the Los Angeles Lakers, and that meant he was due for a “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” appearance on Wednesday.

From his trade demand to the filming of “Space Jam 2” with LeBron James, there was a lot of news to catch up on.

One story Kimmel prodded Davis about was Nike bluntly blocking James from giving his No. 23 to Davis. As we know, James agreed to give No. 23 as a welcoming gesture, going so far as to post a picture of Davis holding the new jersey on Instagram (credit to James for not even bothering to delete the post in the aftermath).

With approval from the NBA, the Lakers asked Nike about a possible switch only to be told that production issues and a large amount of already produced James No. 23 jerseys made the switch impossible.

“A lot of stuff happened with the rules and everything, so I couldn’t get 23,” Davis said while shaking his head. “They were like ’We don’t care who you guys are, it’s too much money.’ I was a little hurt.”

Davis ended up picking No. 3 as his jersey number instead because it was his elementary school number and the number that looked best when he cycled through available numbers on an “NBA 2K” game. One number Davis did not consider was 80, an idea that went viral because of how much the number sounds like his initials.

“A lot of people actually told me that. ‘AD, you should be No. 80.’ And I was like ‘That’s too confusing.’ That’s a huge number, I don’t think it could fit on the jersey,” Davis said.

Anthony Davis doesn't seem happy with Nike over how his attempted jersey swap with LeBron James went down. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Now a member of the “Space Jam 2” cast, Davis was also asked about his experience filming the movie with his teammate. Davis said appearing in movies was fun (he’s also appeared in “Barbershop: The Next Cut”), but he did not sound eager to try the producing role that James is occupying.

“LeBron is still filming now, and he’s on set like 6:45 to 7 p.m.,” Davis said. “I would never, let me do my cameos. ‘Hey guys, Anthony Davis here, Los Angeles Lakers.’ Get out there, I’m done, I’m good.”

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