CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Like father, like son.
Larry Nance Jr. will wear his dad’s retired No. 22 jersey with the Cavaliers afterall.
“The guys with the Cavs and the league have done a great job in kind of granting my wishes, and I guess kind of fulfilling a dream – I’ll be wearing No. 22 from here on out,” Nance Jr. said 75 minutes before the Cavs tipped off against the Wizards Thursday night. “My dad’s jersey will get to stay retired in the rafters, so, I couldn’t be happier with it.
“I’ve been wearing 22 for my whole life and to get to wear it for the Cleveland Cavaliers is beyond a dream come true.”
The Cavaliers worked with the NBA to allow for the special circumstance over the past few days and were informed Thursday that it was approved.
“I did not want to do it if my dad’s jersey had to come down,” Nance Jr. said.
Nance Jr. will begin wearing the new number potentially as early as Sunday afternoon but most likely starting sometime next week.
“I want to wear 22 all the time,” Nance Jr. said. “I wanted to wear it with the Lakers but I would never ask Elgin Baylor to take his jersey down. But, a little bit different situation [here]. I can’t imagine the league has seen anything like this or will see anything like this for a very long time, so kind of a special request they let get through the cracks.
“I’m ecstatic about it.”
The Cavs acquired Nance Jr., who joked that he also plans to wear tight shorts and high white socks the rest of this season, on Feb 8 in a trade with the Lakers.
Nance Jr. paid tribute to his father during the slam dunk contest Saturday night in Los Angeles during All-Star weekend when he wore his father’s No. 22 Phoenix jersey and recreated the same dunk that won the contest in 1984. The younger Nance finished as the runner-up in L.A.
“I called him and told him yesterday that we were kind of talking about it and got it passed,” Nance Jr. said. “My dad is a man of few words so he kind of just let me know with a smile that he was excited.”
Nance Sr. played for the Cavs from 1987-1994 where he was a 2-time NBA All-Star and a member of the most successful er in franchise history prior to the selection of LeBron James in 2003 that saw the team make the playoffs 6 times in 7 years and reach the conference finals in 1992.
Nance’s No. 22 was retired by the Cavs on Jan. 30, 1995.