The Best Athletes Who Wore #23 

Ranker Sports
1.4k votes 243 voters 9.8k views 53 items

List Rules Vote up the best athletes who wore 23 for at least one professional season

The best players to wear 23 as their jersey numbers are sprinkled across all major sports. It has been a popular jersey number for decades with success of athletes across the board. Iconic NBA players with number 23 jerseys include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, all Hall of Fame-level players whose career highlights are among the greatest moments in basketball history. 

Baseball stars have had success with the number as well with Don Mattingly, Ryne Sandberg, and Zach Greinke thriving with the number 23 in the MLB. Football and hockey are not too far behind with many superstars rocking the number in NFL and NHL history. It's all proof that anyone who wears #23 has a major legacy to live up to.

So check out the list of famous athletes who wore 23 and help decide who deserves to rank the highest for wearing this iconic jersey number. Vote up your favorite athletes to wear the number 23.

Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: Lipofski Commons

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)
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LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo:  Lakers/Instagram

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)
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Frank Gore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23
Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons

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
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Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #23

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
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