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"I GOT IT because my grandmother used to go to Atlantic City and [gamble]. You know, lucky number 7," says Odom, who has worn the number since his NBA debut with the Clippers, in 1999. "Plus it's God's number. God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. It's spiritual. When I got to Miami [in 2003], nobody had the number, but Brian Cook had it when I got to the Lakers [in '04]. I told him what it meant to me, and I gave him cash. You're supposed to do that [when you take someone's number]. That's like NBA policy."
WEBBER wore number 4 at each of his four stops in the NBA—until he came to Detroit on Jan. 16. With the number retired for former guard and current Pistons president Joe Dumars, Webber drew inspiration from his seven-year-old nephew, Colton. "I said I was coming to Detroit, and he said, 'Get number 84,'" Webber recalls. "I said, 'Why?' and he said, 'Because you'll win.' He had a dream I wore 84 and won a game. I told Joe D, and he said, 'You better wear 84.' I love it. Also, it's a football number. I played tight end [at Detroit Country Day School]."
"IN COLLEGE [LSU] I wore 33 for Patrick Ewing," says O'Neal. "I wanted it in Orlando, but Terry Catledge wanted to sell it for $50,000. I was not paying that. So I went with 32. With the Lakers, I couldn't have 32 because of Magic, or 33 [ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar]. I took 34. Here, I wanted 33, but Zo"—center Alonzo Mourning, who also wears 33 for Ewing—"was coming back. So I took 32." Why not stay with his Lakers digits? Shaq, bitter at being dealt by L.A., says, "I didn't go with 34 because 34 was stabbed in the back in Los Angeles."
The Pop Culture