Nemanja Nikolic says wearing No. 23 'is not because of Jordan'


Nemanja Nikolic is expected to make his debut for the Chicago Fire on Saturday and when he does so he will be wearing the most famous number in Chicago sports.

Nikolic will be donning the 23 made famous by Michael Jordan. Unfortunately for the makings of a good story, it wasn't even his first choice number. When his first pick was already taken, he went with 23.

"A lot of happiness for Chicago people with that number and why not," Nikolic said with a smile. "Of course it's not because of Jordan."

"In the world it's just one person who bring 23 and everybody loves him because of this so it's not because of that."

The connection for fans in Chicago will be easy to make, especially because 23 is not a common number in soccer. Nikolic, who is born in Serbia and represents Hungary internationally, is well aware of the significance of the number and acknowledged as much in a tweet after the club released the jersey numbers for the 2017 roster.

Nikolic is a bit of a basketball fan himself and even went to see a Bulls game his first night in Chicago.

"In Europe it's a little bit difficult to watch these games because in our country it's three, four o'clock in the morning, but of course I love the games and I will follow them from now," Nikolic said.