Athletes The Best Athletes Who Wore #23  

Ranker Sports
889 votes 116 voters 2.1k views 53 items

List Rules Only athletes who wore 23 for at least one professional season

The best athletes who wore number 23 on their jerseys are Hall of Famers, All-Stars and champions. And they're not just Michael Jordan, though the conversation certainly starts with perhaps the greatest NBA player of all time. The challenger to Jordan's throne, LeBron James, the best current NBA player, is also among the top players to wear 23. 

But it's not only NBA superstars on the list. Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is one of the many MLB players who wore 23.

Not all of these players are remembered for their time with jersey number 23, but they all wore it. Pick the best, and add the favorites you don't see below.

Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: Lipofski Basketballphoto.com/Wikimedia Commons
1 79 VOTES

League: NBA
Years active: 1984-1998, 2001-2003
Stats: 1,072 games played, 30.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists

Career Highlights

  • 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee
  • 5-time NBA MVP (1988, 1991-1992, 1996, 1998)
  • 14-time All-Star selection (1985-1993, 1996-1998, 2002-2003)
  • 3-time All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
  • 10-time first-team All-NBA selection (1987-1993, 1996-1998)
  • 1988 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1985 Rookie of the Year
  • 2-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, 1992)
  • 6-time NBA champion (1991-1993, 1996-1998)
  • 6-time NBA Finals MVP (1991-1993, 1996-1998)
67 12
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LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
2 65 VOTES

League: NBA
Years active: 2003-present (Los Angeles Lakers)
Stats: 1,197 games played, 27.2 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists

Career Highlights

  • 4-time NBA MVP (2009-2010, 2012-2013)
  • 15-time All-Star selection (2005-2019)
  • 3-time All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008, 2018)
  • 12-time first-team All-NBA selection
  • 2004 Rookie of the Year
  • 2-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012)
  • 3-time NBA champion (2012-2013, 2016)
  • 3 NBA Finals MVP (2012-2013, 2016)
48 17
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Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anthony_Davis_20160221.jpg
3 37 VOTES

League: NBA
Years active: 2012-present (New Orleans Pelicans)
Stats: 466 career games played, 23.7 points per game, 10.5 rebounds

Career Highlights

  • 6-time All-Star selection (2014-2019)
  • 2017 All-Star Game MVP
  • 3-time first-team All-NBA selection (2015, 2017-2018)
  • 2012-13 All-Rookie first team selection
  • 2018 All-Defensive first team selection
27 10
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Frank Gore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons
4 39 VOTES

League: NFL
Years active: 2005-present (Buffalo Bills)
Stats: 14,748 career rushing yards, 77 rushing touchdowns, 18 receiving touchdowns

Career Highlights

  • 5-time Pro Bowl selection (2006, 2009, 2011-2013)
  • 2016 Art Rooney Award winner
  • Fourth-most rushing yards in NFL history
28 11
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