From our friends at ESPN:
ESPN’s award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 will examine former NBA star Michael Jordan’s passion for motorcycle racing in the episode airing Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. ET. In an E:60 exclusive, Jordan talks with ESPN’s Hannah Storm and grants unprecedented access to a side of him few have ever seen.
Two weeks before the deal was completed that made Jordan the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, another ownership dream for the 47-year-old was realized; one unrelated to basketball. At Daytona International Speedway, Jordan earned his first win as a team owner on the American Motorcycle Association’s premier Superbike circuit.
In 2004, less than a year after playing his final NBA game, Jordan formed Michael Jordan Motorsports. Now in his sixth season of Superbike competition, the top motorcycle road-racing class in the US, Jordan’s persistence, commitment, and competitive drive has led the team to the top spot on the podium.
Jordan’s obsession with motorcycles extends beyond the owner’s box. He’s also a passionate rider. After retiring from the NBA in 2003, free from NBA contract restrictions that prohibited him from riding, Jordan had an encounter a gas station in a local Chicago neighborhood that changed everything. Shortly thereafter, he was riding fearlessly through the streets of Chicago, at death-defying speeds. Some excerpt quotes:
Hannah Storm – How long did you think it would take to get your first win?
Michael Jordan – Knowing me, I wanted to win the first year. But I knew, mechanically I didn’t have the right equipment to win, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hope for some type of win. I want to say that I committed my time and my energy into this sport and I want to be able to win a championship at the highest level. You know, where I’m competing against the Suzukis, the Yamahas, all the other different manufacturers.
Storm – When you were riding through the streets of Chicago at night …what was that like?
Jordan – Well at first it was scary because I probably was doing some things that I probably shouldn’t have been doing in terms of speed. It was fun. It was exhilarating obviously. At certain times, some of the speeds that I was going on the streets that I was going, they were not quite safe. I think on one straightaway we got up to like 157, which, now thinking about it, I must have been nuts.
ESPN’s E:60, which launched in October 2007, combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.