One Text and a Round of Golf Helped Billionaire Michael Jordan Add Millions to His Net Worth Using His Love for NASCAR

Published 10/02/2022, 5:30 PM EDT
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 26: NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and co-owner of 23XI Racing looks on from the 23XI Racing pit box prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

It is no secret that NBA all-time great Michael Jordan is an avid golfer. The Chicago Bulls legend started playing golf earlier in his career and has never stopped. His competitiveness on the hardwood translated to the golf course as well. Over the years, playing golf has also garnered some high-profile friends to Jordan.

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Also, a very lucrative new endeavor that he has been passionate about for a long time. Like Jordan, NASCAR veteran Denny Hamlin is into golf as well. Hamlin was the first NASCAR racer to be endorsed by the ‘Air Jordan’ brand.

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During the early part of the pandemic, Hamlin spent most of his time on the golf course, since NASCAR was on a break for eight weeks. However, he soon realized he needed something else to keep himself busy. One particular day, something caught his eye, a news article that he and Jordan were interested in purchasing a stake in a NASCAR team.

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But it was not true, at least at the time. However, Hamlin wanted to know what MJ feels about the article. So he sent him the article over a text message while playing golf.

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s golf course meeting

Denny Hamlin got a response from Michael Jordan immediately. “I’ll never forget, I was on the ninth hole of my home golf course and I was like, ‘Should I send Michael this article? Let me get his temperature here,'” Hamlin said. “And I sent it to him and he responded immediately, says ‘Haha, obviously fake news, not real, but if you want to make it real news let me know?'” 

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So Hamlin decided to meet the Chicago Bulls legend. And obviously, he pitched the idea to MJ on a golf course. The six-time NBA champion is a huge racing enthusiast as well. He even owned a professional motorcycle race team. It was called the ‘Michael Jordan Motorsports’ which first competed in the 2004 AMA Pro Road Racing series. However, it was not a very successful venture for MJ. Because of financial issues, the team was discontinued in 2013.

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After the meeting, Jordan decided to make the move. A few months later, Jordan became the owner of 23XI Racing and Hamlin was the minority partner. Then Bubba Wallace was selected as the team’s driver. Thus expanding MJ’s empire. Despite being only 28 years old, Wallace has been driving for years now. Wallace is the highest finishing African American in the Daytona 500, finishing second in 2018 and 2022.

Jordan is the only African American majority owner in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets. NASCAR, on the other hand, has three other African American owners including boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather. Interestingly, Mayweather also wants to own an NBA team, and he has stated that he is working on it.

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Bagavathi Eswaran

702 articles

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.

Edited By: Pritam Priyedarshi

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