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“What’s He Going to Do? Kick Me off the Race Team?” – Bubba Wallace on Michael Jordan Ban Rumors

Published 02/19/2023, 9:28 AM EST

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Michael Jordan has turned into something much more than a basketball player. For him, being an athlete comes with many perks- one of those being endless access to his clothing brand, more importantly, the Air Jordan shoe lineup. Rumors even suggest that every Jordan athlete needs to wear the Jordan sneakers around him. With the sheer success of his clothing brand, it’s not much of a surprise that ‘His Airness’ expects Jordan brand athletes to wear his shoes around him.

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Being a Jordan athlete without even wearing the brand seems unusual, to say the least. In fact, rumors suggest that Team Jordan players are banned from hanging around him if they aren’t wearing his shoes. While even his “Partner-in-Crime” at 23XI Racing, Denny Hamlin isn’t exempt from that rule, there is someone who is.

Which driver remains a Jordan athlete without wearing the brand?

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23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace does not wear Jordan shoes and is still allowed to hang around his boss. It seems as though he is exempt from the same. In an exclusive interview with Complex, Wallace said, “Well, he makes an exception for me. What’s he going to do? Kick me off the race team? If he wants to, then that’s his choice.”

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Wallace may not be wearing the Jordan brand due to his deal with Columbia.

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It is quite interesting to see that one driver gets the leeway here because Kurt Busch ran an entire Jordan-branded car last year.

“Let Down” Bubba Wallace Originally Shut Down Denny Hamlin’s Advances to Join Michael Jordan’s $150 Million NASCAR Team

Wallace could don the Jordan brand and follow in the footsteps of the other Jordan athletes once his deal with Columbia runs out. While that could happen, Wallace isn’t keen on emulating his boss.

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Bubba Wallace has no intentions of following in Michael Jordan’s footsteps

The NBA legend entered the NASCAR scene almost out of nowhere, announcing entry into the sport at the end of the 2020 season. That surprising move has clearly paid off big time for them, but it seems like their star driver has no plans of following in his boss’ footsteps. Wallace admitted, “Oh yeah. I have to win a lot more races before I think about owning a race team. Owning a team is not in the cards right now.”

Nevertheless, there are advantages of having Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin as his owners, as he explained, “Denny’s been around for a handful of years. He thinks he knows this sport inside and out and he’s a walking notebook. MJ, he’s there. He wants to make sure you have all of the resources and everything in place to win.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: $630 Million Giant Is Giving NASCAR Fans an Exclusive Opportunity to Meet Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick

It’s safe to say that MJ and Hamlin do make quite the dream team, especially considering the performance they displayed last season. It remains to be seen whether Wallace is able to take full advantage of the experience his bosses bring to the table in 2023.

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Written by:

Hetul Katyal

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Hetul Katyal is a NASCAR and F1 Writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing his degree in Journalism from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. When the Stock Cars rev up, you can find him cheering Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch, in hopes of seeing one of them drive to the Victory Lane.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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