LeBron James now a NASCAR team owner?

LeBron James, NASCAR team owner - Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE.
LeBron James, NASCAR team owner - Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE. /

Fenway Sports Group added LeBron James as a partner, and among the group’s subsidiaries is the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team.

Back in September, following several years of rumors, NBA legend Michael Jordan announced that he would be entering NASCAR as a Cup Series team owner with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin.

Bubba Wallace would be the driver for the new team, known as 23XI Racing, a combination of Jordan’s number (23) and Hamlin’s number (11, Roman numeral XI).

Jordan wasn’t the final celebrity owner the sport welcomed for the 2021 season. Pitbull joined Justin Marks’s new operation, Trackhouse Racing Team, as a partner in January.

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There are still talks about Floyd Mayweather Jr. with his prospective The Money Team Racing organization and a potential partnership with Spire Motorsports as well.

As for Jordan, whenever anybody discusses his legendary NBA career, talks always seem to evolve into “GOAT” talks that involve himself and LeBron James, who currently competes for the Los Angeles Lakers while wearing the same number Jordan wore in his playing days. There may be a few others who get thrown into the mix, but those are the two who tend to dominate that debate.

So when Jordan bought a NASCAR team, there were jokes about LeBron potentially finding yet another way to follow in MJ’s footsteps by doing the same at some point in the future.

The only thing? They may not have been jokes.

Six months later, there has been quite an interesting development to emerge on that front.

According to The Boston Globe, the Lakers star has been added as a partner of the Fenway Sports Group, which is the parent company of the Boston Red Sox and and Liverpool Football Club.

James had previously held a share of around 2% of the Liverpool soccer franchise since 2011, and he now owns an undisclosed amount of shares in the group.

So how does this relate to NASCAR?

James’s investment makes him a part-owner of not only those two franchises but other Fenway Sports Group subsidiaries as well. The Roush Fenway Racing Cup Series team is among those other subsidiaries, having been established through the group’s partnership with legendary car owner Jack Roush ahead of the 2007 season.

The two-time Cup Series champion team owner has been fielding cars since 1988 and has collected 137 victories, with the most recent one coming at Daytona International Speedway in July 2017 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. behind the wheel.

Ryan Newman currently drives the #6 Ford for the team while Chris Buescher drives the #17 Ford.

It is, of course, a complete coincidence that 6+17=23.

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So while James is not a full-fledged NASCAR team owner, there’s another famous #23 in the ownership picture at stock car racing’s highest level, and it’s exactly who many expected it would be six months after Air Jordan’s big announcement.