Dion Waiters is set to make his debut with the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, just two days after being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will wear #23, which seemed funny at first, considering it was another guy wearing #23 who undoubtedly played a role in his exit from Cleveland. According to Thunder beat writer Anthony Slater, #23 wasn’t Dion’s first choice. He wanted to wear either #1 or #3, but both are accounted for (Perry Jones wears #3, while #1 is Gus Johnson’s number and is retired and don’t get me started…). So, Dion turned to the logical solution: combine the digits. Apparently, #13 is a no-go in OKC, and not because it’s unlucky. It has everything to do with the fact James Harden wore it during his three seasons in town.
Dion Waiters said he didn’t want to wear 23. Wanted 13 (after 3 and 1 were taken) but Thunder didn’t want that because Harden wore it.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 7, 2015
Turns out, it’s not just Waiters who was denied #13. Steven Adams also requested after being drafted. Adams now wears #12.
I believe Steven Adams wanted to wear No. 13, too. It was his college number. The ghost of Harden won’t go away. — Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) January 7, 2015
Adams & Waiters can’t wear No. 13 to avoid the Harden parallels. But Waiters erases Kevin Martin’s esteemed legacy with No. 23. #Thunder
— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) January 7, 2015
Gee, you think they want that one back?