Nike reportedly could not work out a deal with the Lakers to accommodate LeBron's "gifting" of No. 23 to Davis.
Anthony Davis will wear No. 3 for the Lakers during the upcoming season as LeBron James holds onto No. 23–a decision made after James gifted his new teammate the number on June 27 but Nike delayed the plan as it "could not accommodate the request for this season," per Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, due to its sizable No. 23 James inventory.
Davis told reporters at his introductory press conference Saturday that the number change was "pretty hurtful, to be honest.” He said he tried out different numbers on NBA 2K before settling on his elementary school number, No. 3.
"Due to production issues and the massive financial hit Nike would have absorbed from the No. 23 James inventory that’s already been produced, Nike could not accommodate the request for this season," Haynes wrote on Friday.
Davis is still expected to wear No. 23 if he re-signs for the 2020-21 season and beyond, while James is planning to switch over to No. 6.
Los Angeles acquired Davis from the Pelicans on June 15. The Lakers enter this season looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013.