Philadelphia 76ers: Come on Zhaire Smith, pick a number already

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

If Zhaire Smith is going to stick around with the Philadelphia 76ers, he needs to settle on a number already. Three numbers in three games is just too many.

When Zhaire Smith announced before the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Golden State Warriors that he planned on switching his number from eight to seven in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, it was a nice gesture.

Sure, Smith doesn’t play that often, and only officially made his 2019-20 debut a few days prior against the Los Angeles Lakers, but still, after having the number since being drafted 16th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, you had to give the 20-year-old credit for his decision.

And then Smith took the court against the Atlanta Hawks wearing the number five, his third number in as many games, and suddenly things got real confusing real quick.

Now unlike, say, the NFL, NBA players can wear any number regardless of the position they play, as evidenced by Joel Embiid‘s one-game stint wearing 24 on Tuesday night, but three jerseys in three games is a tad excessive, no?

In the first half alone, I must have looked up from my computer no less than five times confused over who was on the court, or how Amir Johnson had somehow shrunk a foot.

Small problems, I know, but we identify players with their number so much that seeing them in another one just feels weird.

Furthermore, is Smith even set on being number five, or is this yet another one night fling? Could we see Smith next in the number nine? What about 45? I know two, his college number, is retired, but 20 isn’t. Could Smith take up the mantle previously worn by Markelle Fultz and let everyone fish their old 20 jerseys out of their closets?

Next. Tobias Harris gets no All-Star respect. dark

Granted, I’d always rather see Zhaire Smith on the court for the Philadelphia 76ers than relegated to a never-ending stint in the G-League, but if he can just pick a number and stick with it, I’d really appreciate it.