CLEVELAND -- After arriving in Cleveland following the NBA trade deadline last week, Larry Nance Jr. was forced to trade in the number he wore with the Los Angeles Lakers, 7, which has been retired by the Cavaliers for Bingo Smith.
The high-flying forward ultimately opted for No. 24, but if it was up to his father, Nance Jr. would have taken another number the hangs in the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena. Appearing on ESPN Radio's Golic & Wingo on Wednesday, Larry Nance Sr. -- a Cavs legend in his own right -- said that he wishes his son would have reprised his No. 22, which was retired by the team in 1995.
The 3-time All-Star said he even went as far as to call the Cavs and ask that they un-retire his jersey for his son.
"As soon as he called me and let me know that he got traded to Cleveland, I called the Cavs and said ‘He can have the number. Please give him the number,'” Nance Sr. said. "And I think he was calling, saying, ‘My dad deserves to keep that up there.’"
While Nance Jr. already has two games in No. 24 under his belt, Nance Sr. isn't ready to give up so quickly. The first-ever Slam Dunk Contest winner said that he plans on spending the summer attempting to get his son to switch his jersey to No. 22 -- the same number the younger Nance wore during his playing days at Akron's Revere High School and in college at Wyoming.
"I’m gonna just let him wear 24, and hopefully this summer — I’m gonna work on him all summer — I would be nothing prouder if he just had that number on his back because he’s wore it his whole career— well, he had to wear No. 7 in L.A. —but I would be proud if he wore it. I think he respects me."
"So we’re just gonna have that conversation a lot this summer, and hopefully I can talk him into it.”
Even though the Cavs' team shop has already put Nance Jr.'s No. 24 jersey up for sale, Nance Sr. may not have to wait so long to get his wish. With the younger Nance participating in the Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend on Saturday, some are already speculating that he may just have a jersey-centric trick up his sleeve.