In the NBA, retiring a player's jersey by raising it to the rafters and not making it available to anyone else in the future is a mark of respect. It's a tribute by a professional franchise and a means of honouring the athlete for his contributions during their time there.
Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, there are only three franchises - the LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors - that don't have any jerseys retired in their rafters. That being said, the Grizzlies have announced the first-ever jersey retirements will come this season - Zach Randolph's No. 50 and Tony Allen's No. 9.
MORE: Every jersey retired by every team in NBA history
Meanwhile, the Raptors' top management has made it clear that they would be retiring Kyle Lowry's No. 7 once he retires from professional basketball.
Leading into the NBA's 75th anniversary season, there have been a large number of players to have their jerseys retired. However, there are only 13 to have had their jerseys retired by multiple franchises.
|Player||No. of retired jerseys||Jersey(s) retired||Teams|
|Wilt Chamberlain||3||13||Warriors, 76ers, Lakers|
|Pete Maravich||3||44, 7||Hawks (44), Jazz (7), Pelicans (7)|
|Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||2||33||Bucks, Lakers|
|Clyde Drexler||2||22||Trail Blazers, Rockets|
|Julius Erving||2||32, 6||Nets (32), 76ers (6)|
|Michael Jordan||2||23||Bulls, Heat|
|Bob Lanier||2||16||Pistons, Bucks|
|Moses Malone||2||24, 2||Rockets (24), 76ers (2)|
|Earl Monroe||2||15, 10||Knicks (15), Wizards (10)|
|Dikembe Mutombo||2||55||Nuggets, Hawks|
|Shaquille O'Neal||2||34, 32||Lakers (34), Heat (32)|
|Oscar Robertson||2||14, 1||Kings (14), Bucks (1)|
|Nate Thurmond||2||42||Cavaliers, Warriors|
|Charles Barkley||2||34||76ers, Suns|
- Wilt Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to have his jersey retired by three franchises that he suite up for.
- Michael Jordan and Pete Maravich are the only two from the above list to have their jerseys retired by teams they never played for. In Jordan's case, it was the Miami Heat and in Maravich's case, it's the Pelicans.
- Kobe Bryant (Nos. 8 and 24) is the only player in NBA history to have multiple numbers retired a single franchise.
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