The name Michael Jordan is often linked with his exploits in basketball with the Chicago Bulls. The one exception to this is his infamous stint in baseball, which lasted for one season for a total of one season. However, the fact that the NBA All-Star is participating in NASCAR demonstrates that he is open to trying new things.In 2020, he attempted to establish himself in the world of stock-car racing by forming a partnership with Denny Hamlin, a driver for the National Auto Racing Association (NASCAR), to establish a team that would be known as 23XI Racing.
Despite the fact that Hamlin could easily choose himself to race for his and Jordan’s team, the two individuals decided to engage Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick to provide their driving services. However, the American driver is currently employed by Joe Gibbs Racing.
The 43-year-old driver is considered to be one of the most prominent figures in the NASCAR Cup Series circuit; nevertheless, despite the fact that he has won 51 races in the series, he has never triumphed in the championship race during his whole career.
It is evident that Jordan had faith that his business partner would put an end to that run one day after he presented his father, Dennis, with a one-of-a-kind present. During an episode of the documentary series ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ that is available on Netflix, he recalls how the 65-year-old attempted to encourage Hamlin to win by signing a cigar and presenting it to him.
“Him and Michael Jordan are good friends, and now they’re partners,” Dennis Hamlin said. “They’ve even become partners.” Therefore, Jordan arrives in his Lamborghini, and as he does so, he reaches down through the side door of his vehicle and pulls out this cigar.
In addition to signing it for me, Michael Jordan also penned a brief letter that reads, “Break it when we win the championship.” That is supposed to be broken, and I am supposed to smoke that cigar. In such case, I will proceed with my plan.
No cigar, but it’s close.
Following the conclusion of the second consecutive season in which he ended in fifth place, Hamlin would not be able to have a celebration cigar, as the old proverb says.
There are other goals that the seasoned driver should take into consideration, however, and the Daytona 500 provides an opportunity to redeem themselves as well as the possibility to win some trophies. A disgruntled Hamlin expressed his dissatisfaction at not being able to win the title once more and stated that he was ‘cursed’ for not being able to win.
“I can’t draw any conclusions on why, year after year, things out of my control have happened that (have) taken us from in control to out of it,” Hamlin said to Netflix after his elimination from the competition in 2023. “In all honesty, it’s just a matter of bad luck. As the black cat of death, I am this. The word “curse” is a curse on me.