The Charlotte Bobcats, Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) and Lowe's Motor Speedway today announced NBA great Michael Jordan will serve as Grand Marshal for the May 19 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Jordan, the managing member of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, will give the command, "Gentlemen, start your engines."
"It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as the Grand Marshal of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star race," said Jordan. "Having the opportunity to take part in this event is a tremendous thrill."
A perennial competitor who appeared in 14 NBA All-Star games as a player, Jordan virtually rewrote the league's record book. His career scoring average of 30.1 points is the highest in NBA history and with 32,292 points, he ranks third on the all-time scoring list. Jordan led Chicago to six NBA Championship titles and was named NBA Finals MVP during each of those series. A five-time NBA MVP in the regular season, he became the only player to win back-to-back regular season and Finals MVP awards when he accomplished the feat in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Jordan has overseen all of the basketball decisions for the Charlotte Bobcats since joining the front office in June 2006.
"No one exemplifies the term all-star better than Michael Jordan," said Dean Kessel, director of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series marketing for Sprint Nextel.
"Very few individuals have accomplished the level of performance that he has and Sprint Nextel is honored to have him serve as Grand Marshal of our premier event."
"The fans are going to feel the energy when we start this all-star race,"
said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, Lowe's Motor Speedway president and general manager. "Michael Jordan epitomizes elite status of a sport so it's fitting to have him send our elite drivers to the track."
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Jordan burst onto the national stage as a freshman at the University of North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to the
1982 NCAA Championship with a dramatic game-winning shot against Georgetown.
Following a standout college career during which he was a two-time College Player of the Year and First Team All-America, Jordan was chosen by Chicago with the third pick of the 1984 NBA Draft.
Jordan is a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, most famously as a member of the 1992 "Dream Team."
Off the court, Jordan also has proven to be a successful businessman. Since its creation, his Jordan Brand (an elite division of NIKE) has been an innovator of athletic shoes and apparel. Brand Jordan has grown to become a market leader under Jordan's creative design input.
Tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge start at just $29 and can be obtained at the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office, by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
Story Courtesy: LMS
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