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

Published 11/04/2022, 4:30 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Michael Jordan is one of the biggest sports enthusiasts in the country. Apart from being a six-time NBA champion, Jordan also aspired to excel in the field of business and sports team ownership. His Airness continued his involvement in various sports even after his retirement. As a matter of fact, the 14-time All-Star co-owns the Charlotte Hornets and the NASCAR team known as 23XI Racing. Recently, 23XI driver Bulla Wallace revealed that he initially tried to shut down co-owner Danny Hamlin’s advances to sign in Jordan’s $150 million worth NASCAR team.

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Bubba Wallace became the first driver in the No. 23 car to join Michael Jordan‘s team. MJ announced his team in September 2020, in partnership with NASCAR veteran Danny Hamlin. Wallace recently appeared at the All the Smoke podcast where he talked about how MJ and Hamlin initially started the team.

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Hamlin and Wallace shared the same agent, so they often ran into each other. Wallace was a part of Richard Petty Motorsports since 2017. The team was looking to rebrand and involve Denny Hamlin in some capacity. The news led to false rumors about Danny Hamlin and Michael Jordan starting a NASCAR team. Hamlin shared the rumors with MJ via text and the Chicago Bulls legend was immediately interested in the idea of owning a NASCAR team.

Wallace was hesitant to join 23XI team by Michael Jordan

Danny Hamlin told Wallace about MJ’s interest and the possibility of the idea coming true. However, Wallace took a more realistic approach to the situation. He sent Hamlin the Kobe Bryant video where he did not smile in a press conference despite being 2-0 up.

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Further, the 23XI driver revealed that he had negative experiences about being let down in such situations. Wallace said, “I’ve been let down many times right and so I was like hey man no disrespect but… send him that video.”

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Luckily, MJ and Hamlin made the deal happen with RPM and created 23XI Racing. The team has competed in 92 races so far, winning three races. Wallace has won two races for Michael Jordan’s team so far. The 29-year-old won his first race in 2021 at the YellaWood 500 in Talladega. His second victory came in 2022 at the Hollywood Casino 400 in Kansas. Bubba Wallace also became the first Black driver to win a Cup Series race since Wendell Scott in 1963.

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Watch this story- American Youngster Coco Gauff Leaves Out Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka to Join LeBron James and Michael Jordan With a Thumping Business

Thus, despite having doubts initially, the decision to join Michael Jordan’s team turned out to be an excellent decision for Bubba Wallace and Danny Hamlin.

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Written by:

Rohit Kumawat

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Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder

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