These 10 Numbers Have Never Been Worn In An NBA Game, Including One That’s Banned By The League

Two jerseys hanging beside a basketball.


The NBA has been around for more than three-quarters of a century, being formed in June of 1946. The league currently consists of 30 teams, with an endless number of players having come through the ranks over the years.

With that being said, there are 10 jersey numbers that have never been worn in an NBA contest. A notable social media account recently reminded fans of those numbers, sparking a reaction from the basketball world.

Everyone recognizes the jerseys of superstars. Michael Jordan’s No. 23. LeBron’s No. 6. Kobe’s No. 8 (or 24).

But not many can tell you the numbers that have never been donned. It’s a short list, and it even includes a number that’s been banned by the league.

Most of those jerseys sit on the higher side of things, with all but one falling in the 60s, 70s, or 80s.

Honestly, I’m surprised the list isn’t longer.

Some things of note:

  • While nine of the ten never-before-worn jersey numbers come after the number 60, all of the 90s have been used in NBA play.
  • 69 has been banned by the NBA, though Dennis Rodman tried to wear it in Dallas.
  • Every number 50 and below has been worn, including 0 and 00.

The account went a step further to answer some interesting fan questions regarding the NBA jersey numbers.

For starters, why is No. 69 banned? The reasoning likely won’t surprise you.

Are triple digits allowed?

What number has been worn the most?

What about retired the most times?

A number of other interesting tidbits can be found in the comments section, many of which have to do with specific jerseys. For example, you may not know that Shawn Bradley is the only player to wear No. 76.

The list is sure to shrink at some point in the future. Which number will be next off the list?

Jacob Elsey BroBible avatar
BroBible writer. Jacob is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is based in Charleston, SC.