The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Hood-Schifino is the first player that the Lakers have drafted in the first round since 2018 and has traits that are comparable to Talen Horton-Tucker.
It is going to be some time until JHS is a reliable contributor in an NBA rotation. After all, the Lakers are loaded with talent and Hood-Schifino is still only 20 years old. The rookie might end up getting more playing time assigned down with the South Bay Lakers than the Los Angeles Lakers.
It might be a good thing that Hood-Schifino won’t see much time on the court as his number choice for his NBA career has already started to give Lakers fans horror flashbacks on social media. Hood-Schifino picked the one number that fans were hoping wouldn’t be worn for a long time: zero.
Lakers fans forced to think about Russell Westbrook because of Jalen Hood-Schifino
It goes without saying that the Russell Westbrook experiment failed with the Los Angeles Lakers and it got really rocky there towards the end. Westbrook obviously didn’t want to be on the team anymore and fans didn’t want him either. It was as toxic as a relationship could get in the NBA.
Now Lakers fans are going to have to remember that every time Hood-Schifino checks into the game and his number is announced. At the very least, fans can repurpose their Westbrook No. 0 jerseys (or even Kyle Kuzma No. 0 jerseys) with a quick DIY fix to get a Hood-Schifino jersey.
So why No. 0? Hood-Schifino wore No. 1 in college but that taken by D’Angelo Russell. Maybe if Russell is actually traded at the deadline this year JHS could have his preferred number of choice.
Gabe Vincent also wore No. 2 in Miami so probably will get that number in Los Angeles, so Hood-Schifino had to go the other way. Jaxson Hayes will also probably take No. 11 (which is what JHS wore during Summer League) as his No. 10 is taken by Max Christie, so JHS was running out of options.
But hey, all the Lakers fans on social media that are complaining that this will give them horror flashbacks should look at it a different way. Instead of reminding you of Westbrook, perhaps Jalen Hood-Schifino can take all of the stink away from the No. 0 and create a new legacy with it.
Or it will prove to be a cursed number for the purple and gold. Only time will tell!