Meeting or talking to Michael Jordan can be an unforgettable moment for many. He is not only a Chicago Bulls legend, but he is an NBA, sports, and pop culture icon, and many people consider him to be the GOAT of basketball. Well, Jordan has branched out into other sports throughout his life, and he once sent an unforgettable text message to a non-basketball sports star. That sports star was NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who has helped Michael Jordan venture into motorsports by joining his 23XI Racing NASCAR team.
Michael Jordan is looking to find success in NASCAR
In 2020, Michael Jordan announced that he was forming a NASCAR team with driver Denny Hamlin. They then brought in the only Black full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver in Bubba Wallace.
“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity, and there have been few Black owners,” Jordan said in a statement in September 2020, per ESPN. “The timing seemed perfect, as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”
He continued: “I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing.”
The partnership with Wallace and Jordan paid off even before the end of their first full season together, too. While Michael Jordan and Bubba Wallace both have pretty popular names on their own (MJ more so than Bubba, of course), together, they are bringing more and more new fans into NASCAR. In fact, according to GQ, 23XI Racing’s shirts and hoodies sold out less than five minutes after they became available.
The decision to own a team was certainly a monumental one for Jordan. He became the first Black principal owner to have his team in the Cup Series full-time since 1973. However, it was also a career-altering one for Wallace, as he raced for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2020.
Michael Jordan sent Bubba Wallace an unforgettable text
Before officially joining 23XI Racing, Bubba Wallace didn’t actually communicate with Jordan. Wallace told Rich Eisen recently that Denny Hamlin did all the talking.
However, once the announcement officially came out, Jordan sent a text over to Wallace’s phone.
“I will never forget all the text messages that I got after we did announce [the deal]; the one text message that stood out the most was from an unknown number at the time,” Wallace said on the April 7 episode of The Rich Eisen Show.
You can probably guess who the person was that sent that.
“At the end of it, it just said ‘MJ,’” Wallace said. “I’m like, ‘Well, there’s only one MJ that I know of, so that’s my new boss.’ That was pretty special. To have him in my back pocket, somebody to talk to and what not is really, really cool.”
That would be pretty cool to get a text message from the GOAT himself. However, now Bubba Wallace must prove to NASCAR fans — and to Michael Jordan — that he can live up to his outstanding potential as a driver.
Bubba Wallace is excited to be working with MJ
Throughout his young NASCAR Cup Series career so far, Wallace, the Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2018, has yet to win a race. He finished in the top 10 nine times from 2018 through 2020 and in the top five three times.
Now, he has a chance to change that on Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s NASCAR team.
“Out of both MJ and Denny, those guys don’t accept failure, and neither do I,” Wallace said on The Rich Eisen Show. “So, I’m excited to be where I’m at; we always strive to be greater than we were the previous day, and you always gotta do that, no matter what it is in life. So, [Jordan is] all invested; he’s all in. Everybody in this organization is all in to continue to grow and make it bigger than what it is.”
It will be interesting to see how much success Michael Jordan can achieve in NASCAR. If it’s anything like his basketball-playing career, it will be legendary.