The Most Popular Number in the NBA: A Ranking of Player Jersey Numbers

Choose the number you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 1, 2023 08:48
Welcome to StrawPoll's latest buzzworthy ranking, "What is the most popular number in the NBA?"! As the court heats up and your favorite players dribble their way to victory, have you ever wondered which number jersey reigns supreme? We've compiled a dynamic list of iconic NBA numbers, and now it's your turn to slam dunk your vote! Unleash the basketball enthusiast within you and help us determine the ultimate MVP of jersey digits. Think we missed a legendary number? Don't worry, you can suggest a missing option and make sure it gets its moment in the spotlight. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your foam finger, and dive into this exhilarating ranking where every vote counts! Are you ready to play ball?

What Is the Most Popular Number in the NBA? (October 2023)

  1. 1


    This number is famously associated with Michael Jordan, who is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Many players have since worn this number in tribute to Jordan's legacy.
    The number 23 is considered one of the most popular and frequently chosen numbers in lottery games worldwide. It has garnered a reputation for bringing luck and success due to various superstitions and cultural beliefs associated with it.
    • Frequent Appearance: The number 23 appears regularly as a player's selection in lottery games.
    • Numerological Significance: In numerology, the number 23 is often associated with creativity, intuition, and manifestation of desires.
    • Pop Culture References: The number 23 has been featured in popular films and literature, becoming a symbol of mystery and intrigue.
    • Sports Significance: In various sports, the number 23 has been famously worn by iconic athletes, adding to its popularity.
    • Historical Significance: Significant events throughout history have involved the number 23, leading to its perceived importance.
    23 in other rankings
  2. 2
    Tomihahndorf · Public domain


    Charles Barkley
    This number was worn by Shaquille O'Neal, another legendary player who is widely considered one of the most dominant centers in NBA history.
    The jersey number 34 holds special significance in basketball, often associated with Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. It has become one of the most iconic numbers in the sport due to its association with Barkley's dominant playing style and larger-than-life personality.
    • Player: Charles Barkley
    • Team: Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets
    • Position: Power forward
    • NBA Championships: None
    • NBA MVP Awards: 1 (1993)
    34 in other rankings
  3. 3


    Kobe Bryant
    This number was worn by Kobe Bryant, another all-time great who tragically passed away in 2020.
    The number 24 is a highly significant jersey number in basketball, associated with the legendary player Kobe Bryant. It represents excellence, competitiveness, and a relentless drive to succeed.
    • Player: Kobe Bryant
    • Position: Guard/Forward
    • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers
    • NBA Championships: 5
    • NBA MVP Awards: 1
    24 in other rankings
  4. 4


    The National Lottery
    This number is associated with Larry Bird, a Hall of Famer who played for the Boston Celtics and is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.
    The number 33 is one of the most popular Bonus Balls used in the National Lottery. It is an additional number drawn alongside the main set of numbers to provide players with an extra chance to win a prize.
    • Number: 33
    • Usage: As a Bonus Ball in the National Lottery
    • Frequency: Drawn in various lottery games
    • Range: 1-59 (typical range for National Lottery games)
    • Importance: Considered significant due to its popularity
    33 in other rankings
  5. 5


    This number was famously worn by Magic Johnson, another Hall of Famer who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and is widely considered one of the greatest point guards of all time.
    The number 32 is a popular basketball jersey number that has been worn by numerous iconic players in NBA history.
    • Player Associations: The number 32 is associated with basketball legends such as Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O'Neal.
    • Championships: Players wearing the number 32 have won a combined 11 NBA championships.
    • All-Star Selections: Jersey number 32 has been worn by players who have collectively made over 30 appearances in the NBA All-Star Game.
    • Scoring Accomplishments: Players wearing number 32 have achieved scoring milestones such as 30,000 career points and multiple scoring titles.
    • Rebounding Prowess: Number 32 has been associated with dominant rebounders, including players with multiple rebounding championships.
    32 in other rankings
  6. 6


    This number was worn by Bill Russell, a Hall of Famer who played for the Boston Celtics and is widely considered one of the greatest defenders and team players of all time.
    The number 6 is considered a perfect number in mathematics. It is the smallest number that is equal to the sum of its divisors, excluding itself. It has been studied for centuries and holds a special significance in number theory.
    • Divisors: 1, 2, 3
    • Sum of Divisors: 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
    • Aliquot Sum: 6 - 1 - 2 - 3 = 0
    • Type: Perfect number
    • Positive Integer: Yes
    6 in other rankings
  7. 7
    Radek Linner · CC BY-SA 3.0


    This number is associated with Tim Duncan, a legendary power forward who played for the San Antonio Spurs and is widely considered one of the greatest players of his generation.
    The jersey number 21 is a popular choice for basketball players, often associated with skilled and versatile players. It has been worn by numerous notable athletes in the sport.
    • Famous athletes associated with #21: Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Joel Embiid
    • Position: Historically worn by forwards (both power and small forwards), but also worn by guards and centers
    • Versatility: Often chosen by all-around players who excel in multiple aspects of the game
    • Scoring ability: Many players with jersey number 21 are known for their scoring prowess
    • Defensive skills: Several players associated with the number 21 are renowned for their defensive abilities
    21 in other rankings
  8. 8


    This number was worn by Stephen Curry, a two-time MVP and one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
    The number 30 is one of the most popular jersey numbers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It has been worn by numerous iconic players throughout the history of the league.
    • Player Associations: The number 30 is closely associated with several legendary players in the NBA, including Stephen Curry, Bernard King, Gilbert Arenas, and Dell Curry.
    • Championships: Players donning the number 30 jersey have collectively won a total of 8 NBA championships.
    • All-Star Appearances: Players wearing the number 30 have made a combined total of 34 NBA All-Star Game appearances.
    • Scoring Titles: Players with the number 30 jersey have won 4 NBA scoring titles.
    • Three-Point Shooting: The number 30 is often associated with exceptional three-point shooting skills, as exemplified by Stephen Curry, who revolutionized the game with his long-range shooting ability.
  9. 9


    This number was worn by Isiah Thomas, a Hall of Famer who played for the Detroit Pistons and is widely considered one of the greatest point guards of all time.
    The number 11 is considered to be one of the most popular lottery numbers worldwide. It holds a special significance for many people due to its repeated and symmetrical nature.
    • Numerology: In numerology, 11 is often associated with intuition, spiritual awakening, and higher consciousness.
    • Astrology: In astrology, 11 is linked with the star sign Aquarius, known for its progressive and innovative energy.
    • Gematria: In Jewish mysticism, the number 11 represents divine inspiration and is associated with the Hebrew letter kaf.
    • Historical Significance: In ancient Rome, the number 11 carried significance as it symbolized transgression and excess.
    • Superstitions: Many people believe that seeing the number 11 frequently brings good luck and positive energy.
    11 in other rankings
  10. 10
    Blleininger · Public domain


    This number is associated with Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion who played for the San Antonio Spurs and is widely considered one of the greatest European players of all time.
    The number 9 is considered one of the most popular lottery numbers. It holds significance and symbolism in various cultures and is often associated with luck and positivity.
    • Lucky Number: The number 9 is considered lucky in many cultures and is believed to bring good fortune.
    • Symbolism: It represents various concepts like wholeness, completion, and eternity. In numerology, 9 is considered a powerful number with deep spiritual significance.
    • Sports: In some sports such as soccer, the number 9 is traditionally associated with the main striker or goal scorer.
    • Historical Significance: The number 9 holds historical significance in different contexts, such as the nine Muses in Greek mythology and the nine planets in ancient astronomical beliefs.
    • Mathematics: In mathematics, the number 9 has unique properties such as being the highest single-digit number and having interesting mathematical quirks like any number multiplied by 9 resulting in a digit sum that adds up to 9.
    9 in other rankings

Missing your favorite number?


Ranking factors for popular number

  1. Number of players wearing the number
    Evaluate how many current and past NBA players have worn a specific number. A higher number of players wearing a particular number indicates its popularity.
  2. Iconic players and their numbers
    Consider the numbers worn by legendary NBA players such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and others. These players have a significant influence on the popularity of numbers they wore.
  3. Championship success
    The number of championships won by players wearing a particular number can be a factor in the number's popularity.
  4. Retired numbers
    Keep in mind the numbers that have been retired by multiple teams in honor of a player, as this speaks to the contributions those players made to their respective teams and adds to the allure of the number.
  5. All-Star appearances and MVPs
    Numbers worn by players with multiple All-Star appearances or MVP awards may be more popular due to their association with these achievements.
  6. Cultural significance
    Some numbers may become popular due to their cultural or symbolic meaning. For instance, the number 23 is synonymous with Michael Jordan and basketball greatness, while the number 42 has historical significance as it was worn by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, and is retired across all MLB teams.
  7. Up-and-coming players
    Keep an eye on the numbers worn by emerging young stars, as their success and growing fan base can contribute to the popularity of their jersey numbers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular number in the NBA. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite number is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 175 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each number once every 24 hours. The rank of each number is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular number in the nba

Background Information: Numbers hold a special significance in the world of sports. From jersey numbers to scoring records, numbers have become an integral part of how we identify players and track their achievements. When it comes to the NBA, players' jersey numbers are often chosen to represent their personal preferences or to pay homage to their favorite players. But among the sea of numbers worn by NBA players, which number is the most popular? According to a recent survey conducted by StrawPoll, the number 23 reigns supreme as the most popular number in the NBA. This number has been made iconic by some of the greatest basketball players of all time, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. In fact, Jordan's number 23 jersey is so legendary that it has been retired by the Chicago Bulls and has become a symbol of basketball greatness. But 23 isn't the only popular number in the NBA. Other popular choices include the number 24, which has been worn by Kobe Bryant and Rick Barry, and the number 30, which has been made famous by Stephen Curry. Whether it's for personal reasons or in honor of their favorite players, NBA players' jersey numbers hold a special meaning and serve as a symbol of their hard work and dedication to the game.