Bubba Wallace Opens Up on the Alternative Career That Would’ve Seen Him Cross Paths With Michael Jordan Way Before 23XI Racing Existed

Published 08/05/2022, 12:45 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 25: Bubba Wallace is seen at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Bubba Wallace recently revealed how he could have ended up in an entirely different sport instead of NASCAR. He spoke about his influences and how he got into racing finally.

When Wallace was younger, he tried to follow in his sister’s footsteps who was a basketball player. He wished to play in the NBA someday.

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In a visual interview, Wallace said, “I think I was following in my sister’s footsteps, to be honest with you. She was a basketball player. I was five, I started playing basketball. I played a few things in the Rec league stuff. And then, seven and eight, I was playing AAU travel ball.”

Wallace said that basketball was not where he shined particularly well, but nevertheless, he thought it was the path he would go down.

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However, somewhere along the line, he seemed to have switched life goals and ended up in NASCAR instead. He currently races for 23XI, a team owned by fellow driver Denny Hamlin and the legendary NBA basketball player Michael Jordan.

How did Bubba Wallace get into motor racing?

Bubba Wallace’s interest in racing started when his father took him to watch a go-kart race.

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RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – APRIL 03: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota, waves to fans onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 03, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Imag

Telling the story he said, that after he saw kids of his age racing around in go-karts, his interest peaked and his father, later on, got him a go-kart to go race in.

Ever since Wallace was hooked. After participating in a bunch of races around the country, he slowly rose up the ranks and made it to the Cup Series. Now he’s out there racing against the finest drivers in American motorsports.

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Wallace currently holds only one race win at the famed Talladega Superspeedway. But given that he has been in the Cup Series for not that long, he still has time to prove himself.

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Srijan Mandal

172 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog, 'Noobs Onboard', for a while now, covering NASCAR, F1, W Series, MotoGP, WRC and the WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade now, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

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