NBA legend Michael Jordan and NASCAR star Denny Hamlin have been friends for quite some time now. Their Cup Series team, 23XI Racing, is undoubtedly also a symbolic gesture of the trust and mutual respect they share for each other as sportspersons.
Back in the year 2011, though, Hamlin had also signed up with Nike as a ‘Jordan Brand’ athlete. The ‘Jumpman’ logo became prominently featured on his race suit, gloves, and other racing apparel as well.
The Joe Gibbs Racing No.11 recently took to Instagram to share a post of himself wearing the famed shoes with the Jumpman logo on them. Jogging everyone’s memory, Hamlin’s post served as a reminder that their association has now lasted a decade to this week.
Hamlin’s post read, “10 years this week with @jumpman23. We’ve come a long way.” Indeed, the No.11 has had so many successes in the past decade that Nike would certainly be proud of.
Contrary to what many think, Jordan and Hamlin had met long before they collaborated on their latest NASCAR joint-venture. Visiting a Charlotte Hornets basketball game back in the day, the JGR driver quickly struck up with Jordan, who remains the chairman of that team.
Through texts and conversations over the years, both athletes became good friends, and Hamlin also realized Jordan’s passion for NASCAR. Hence, it made complete sense when they teamed up together to execute the vision they had for 23XI Racing.
Though it has been just two races so far, the 40-year-old has gotten off the blocks with two impressive Top 5 finishes. Such was his ability, that Hamlin could very easily have won Sunday’s Daytona Road Course race.
On the other hand, Bubba Wallace has had a bit of a rocky start, finishing 17th and 26th respectively so far. Although he has been in and around the Top 10 positions in both stages, the polished touch to land a solid finish is currently lacking.
Therefore, both Hamlin and Jordan would be expecting Wallace to improve in the forthcoming races. The former in particular would want to see results, considering he has also become a team owner now.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops