By Arash Markazi
November 18, 2009

Magic Johnson would have no problem having Michael Jordan's No. 23 retired across the NBA. In fact, he says if the league approves the initiative, he and Larry Bird would be the first in line to support it.

Last week, LeBron James said he would switch from wearing No. 23 to No. 6 next season because he believes that 23, the number Jordan wore during his Hall of Fame career, should be retired league-wide in the same manner Jackie Robinson's 42 and Wayne Gretzky's 99 are in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, respectively.

"I thought it was just fabulous that he would think about everybody retiring the No. 23 that Michael wore," Johnson said Wednesday. "Me and Larry, we don't really get into that. We care about the game, and if everybody votes that nobody should wear 23, we're going to be the first ones to say that it should happen. We all know how the game was and who's made a difference, and Michael definitely made a big difference. Larry and I started it off after Dr. J and those guys passed it on to us, and then we passed it to Michael and he took the game to a whole new level. We're all in favor of that if that's what everybody wants."

Regardless of whether James' idea becomes league mandate, Johnson commended the reigning MVP for his attempt to honor the NBA's past.

"It's great to have a player like LeBron understand what the players before him meant to the league and to today's players," he said. "LeBron just showed the class player that he is."

Johnson made his comments in announcing an initiative to provide remote learning opportunities to adults and children at his 18 Community Empowerment Centers across the country.

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