Six-time NBA champion, as well as MVP and All-Star basketball icon, Michael Jordan, is making history by building his own team with Denny Hamlin as co-owner and Bubba Wallace behind the wheel. At just 26 years old, Wallace is considered to be one of the greats of the competitive racing sport.
Michael Jordan And Denny Hamlin Start A New NASCAR Team
Wallace is now leaving his current team, Richard Petty Motorsports, behind as he moves on with Jordan and Hamlin for better opportunities. Wallace explained on his Twitter,
"This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I'm grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I'm super pumped to begin this adventure with them."
Meanwhile, NASCAR has faced criticism over its blatant use of the confederate flag during races. Wallace called out against it, and as of June 10, 2020, NASCAR officially and finally banned the flag during its events.
Michael Jordan also released a statement following the major announcement:
"Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I've been a NASCAR fan my whole life. The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting for me. Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing."
Before Jordan even became a pro-basketball player, he actually briefly played professional baseball, and eventually even starred in the 1996 movie Space Jam. He and Denny Hamlin have known each other for quite some years, too! Hamlin posted a statement on his Twitter account:
The pair have known each other for 11 years, and want Bubba to have all the resources available in order for him to excel as one of the few African-American race drivers within the sport.