In a surprising twist of fate that blends the worlds of NASCAR and NBA, veteran driver Kurt Busch has not only secured a spot on Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing team but also a significant windfall. Thanks to a unique agreement involving a cherished piece of sports memorabilia.
Busch, a lifelong Chicago Bulls fan, disclosed how a 1986-87 Michael Jordan rookie card became a pivotal factor in his journey to joining the iconic racing team. The racing team is co-founded by Jordan and Denny Hamlin. NASCAR stalwart clinched the NASCAR Cup championship in 2004 and boasts 33 Cup race victories.
.@KurtBusch was on @SportsCenter during a ride-a-long with @espn Reporter @MartySmithESPN around the track at @DAYTONA discussing the future at 23XI – and gifted him a pair of Jordan Georgetown 1s! pic.twitter.com/L5AlCj0gxj
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) February 24, 2022
Busch’s racing career took an unexpected turn when he joined forces with Jordan’s team. He recounted his first encounter with Jordan, where the legend pointed to his heart. Jordan declared, “I already know you race with your heart, you race with your soul, you’re the talent we want to help build this team”.
Busch is embracing the opportunity and expressed his commitment to elevating the entire program. Thereby mirroring NBA legend Jordan’s dedication to making those around him better.
“To ask me, as a veteran driver, to come in and help build this new team…about two years ago, I didn’t have a contract to race. This is all the cream and the cherry on top, and it’s the best project I’ve ever worked on in my career,” Busch enthused.
Kurt Busch reveals how he convinced Michael Jordan to sign his rookie card
Busch’s journey with 23XI Racing sets him apart from conventional NASCAR stories. This is because of the intriguing role played by a vintage piece of sports memorabilia. It is the 1986-87 Michael Jordan rookie card.
During the final stages of contract negotiations for the 2022 season, Busch unveiled his possession of this iconic card. Followed by proposing an unprecedented agreement with Jordan. In a conversation captured by ESPN during a pace-car ride before the Daytona 500, Busch recounted the intriguing negotiation.
“Here’s the deal I made with MJ. [I said], ‘You sign this but you keep it, and when we win together, I get it back.’ He said, ‘Deal'”. The Michael Jordan rookie cards hold immense value in the world of sports collectibles, and the 1986-87 one is a steal-deal.
The card market’s resurgence in recent years. The highly graded versions of this card have fetched substantial sums, ranging from $50,000 to over $200,000. Adding Jordan‘s autograph to the card could elevate its value to a staggering $2 to $3 million. The value is estimated by an online auction at Christie’s.
As Busch continues to race for his childhood hero. Fans will be eagerly watching the journey unfold, with an eye on that iconic card.