The NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team ceremony was a historic parade of stars young and old, and it was not without a little suspense wither.
At the beginning of the day, it was not entirely clear if Michael Jordan, a player the NBA definitely would have wanted to have for its All-Star Game halftime festivities, would be in attendance. That was because of a little race known as the Daytona 500, in which Jordan’s 23XI Racing had two cars competing.
Jordan was seen attending the race in Daytona Beach, Florida, and conspicuously absent from a pregame photo with the 75th Anniversary Team, which caused some to believe he had chosen Daytona over the NBA’s event. The race ended around 6:48 pm ETabout an hour and a half before the All-Star Game was set to tip off.
Attending the All-Star Game would have required Jordan to sprint from Daytona International Speedway to an airport, take a private jet and head straight to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse before halftime ended. Which is probably just what he did, because here he is on the red carpet, the final player on the team to be announced:
The Cleveland crowd was clearly excited to see him.
Jordan was his usual self when he arrived as well, joshing Magic Johnson as “an old dog” and immediately challenging the Los Angeles Lakers legend to a game of one-on-one. Which, to be fair, is probably something fans would have wanted to see over the rest of the All-Star Game.
Once on the floor, Jordan embraced many of his Anniversary Team peers, including that player most frequently compared to him, LeBron James.
All in all, an eventful day for the Chicago Bulls legend. He had a fairly successful day at the track as well, with his drive Bubba Wallace finishing second behind rookie Auston Cindric.