The Los Angeles Lakers have undergone several changes this offseason, led by the signing of LeBron James and a handful of veterans to round out the roster. While James and the likes of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee and Michael Beasley changed jerseys, Josh Hart is switching numbers.
The Lakers announced he will now wear No. 3, which was Hart’s number at Villanova, in lieu of No. 5. The switch takes effect for the 2018-19 season, as Hart was in his rookie No. 5 during Summer League.
He was initially only expected to play one game in Sacramento and one in Las Vegas, but the 23-year-old successfully lobbied his way to appearing in all but one possible Summer League game.
Like the Lakers, Hart was slow out of the gate in Sacramento but turned a corner as the team moved on to the desert.
He earned Las Vegas Summer League MVP honors en route to guiding the Lakers to the championship game for a second consecutive year. However, the tournament ended in frustration and disappointment as Hart was ejected before the Lakers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in a rematch of last year’s title game.
It left a negative taste in Hart’s mouth and he immediately said his focus was on training camp and getting back on the court. He’ll now get to do so in a new, er, old, jersey number.