UPDATE: Apparently, Wall is thinking about either No. 15 or No. 3.
This is amazing, because I love both numbers -- actually, they have been the very two basketball jersey numbers I have loved most in my lifetime, No. 3 from when I was a kid until I was in my mid-20s, and No. 15 since then; it is my reigning favorite (and not just because of Tim Tebow. I liked No. 15 before that.)
Excuse the homerism/Wall triumphalism for a moment...
What jersey number should John Wall wear? His preferred number -- 11 -- is retired by the Bullets/Wizards for Elvin Hayes. So unless Hayes is willing to give it up, Wall needs a new number.
It's not an insubstantial thing -- it becomes part of a player's brand, not to mention a part of their merchandise sales. There are a few factors to consider:
*Can you own it? Meaning: Is it already defined by another star? (Examples: 35 is Durant. 24 is Kobe. 41 is Dirk. 23 is Jordan. Even 1 is Derrick Rose. Number 6, obviously, is now LeBron's -- or Arenas's, oddly.)
*Is it a "cool" number? (Example: 39 is not cool. Especially if you are an exciting point guard. You want your number to reflect that.
I think I have it. (Yes, I have given this way too much thought.)
*It has similar numerical alliteration to Wall's old number 11, and it's a cool-looking number.
*It is "owned" by Jerry West and George Gervin, historically, but no star in the NBA currently claims it and no star point guard in league history has worn it.
*It's a unique number for a point guard. (Remember when Jason Williams entered the league with the Kings and wore No. 55? It was one of the league's best-sellers.)
And, most interesting, it becomes a sly tribute to No. 44 in the White House -- the hoops-loving President -- getting work done a few blocks away from where Wall will do his own work. It evokes leadership (something Wall has talked constantly about) and a zeitgeisty D.C. vibe.
Thoughts? By the way: Wall can always change it later. Look at LeBron.