Denny Hamlin Kicks It Courtside With Nelly

Denny Hamlin Nelly

Getty Denny Hamlin (left) and Nelly (right) took in a Charlotte Hornets game.

Denny Hamlin is making the most of his offseason. He headed to Nashville for Burnouts on Broadway, as well as the NASCAR Awards banquet. Hamlin then followed up his trip to Music City by kicking it courtside with Nelly.

The man responsible for Country Grammar posted a video on his Instagram stories on Wednesday, December 8, that showed him sitting next to fellow rapper City Spud at a Charlotte Hornets-Philadelphia 76ers game. Nelly then panned the camera over to reveal the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry TRD. He also posted a photo showing him and Hamlin together at the game.

The Bally Sports Twitter account also provided some looks at Hamlin and Nelly as they took in the NBA matchup. The commentators tried to figure out the “secrets” that the rapper was sharing with the NASCAR driver, but they didn’t have an answer. Though Hamlin “revealed” that they were discussing building a track inside of the Spectrum Center.


Hamlin Previously Took the Stage With Nelly

The NBA game on December 8 is not the first time that Nelly and Hamlin have spent time together in public. They are friends, and they have spent considerable time together. They also took the stage together during a concert in Indianapolis.

Hamlin posted a photo on Instagram on November 28 that showed him and the St. Louis rapper together. Hamlin wore a sleeveless purple shirt that featured Hamlin’s name and his No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry.

Nelly rocked the outfit during the rain-postponed FGL Fest at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2019. He was one of the many acts to perform at the massive concert during the Monster Energy Cup Series weekend ahead of the Brickyard 400 Crown Jewel race. Hamlin finished sixth overall while Kevin Harvick won in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

Not to be outdone, Nelly also released an impressive hype video for Hamlin ahead of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. He raved about the NASCAR driver’s Daytona 500 wins and other career achievements before setting the stage for Hamlin’s run to the championship four.

“Three-time Daytona 500 champ. Back to back!” Nelly said in his hype video. “40-plus career wins. There’s only one thing left to do. The driver of the No. 11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing, my homie, Mr. Denny Hamlin. Holla.”


Hamlin Obviously Has Ties to the Charlotte Hornets

Spending time with Nelly is nothing new for Hamlin. He is a longtime friend of the rapper. His appearance at the NBA game also makes sense considering that he has been a season-ticket holder. He also has obvious ties to the Charlotte Hornets.

Hamlin is business partners with Hornets owner Michael Jordan, the six-time NBA champion. They co-own 23XI Racing together, the team that features Bubba Wallace in the No. 23 Toyota and Kurt Busch in the No. 45 Toyota.

Prior to becoming business partners with the NBA icon, Hamlin also made NASCAR history. He became the only driver to land a sponsorship from the Jordan brand. He began donning a firesuit with the Jumpman logo in 2011, and he has continued to do so every year since.

“It was around 2008, the first year he came on as an owner of the Hornets,” Hamlin said about meeting Jordan during a 2016 interview with Complex. “I was a season-ticket holder at the time, and I remember walking to the back area and he was sitting there. He actually got my attention. He said, ‘Hey man, good race over the weekend.’ I said to him, ‘You watch racing?’ He said, ‘Yeah, my dad used to take me to races way back when. I’ve always watched racing, I watch it every weekend. Here’s my cell phone number, give me a text, and we’ll get up.’

“The whole second half of the game we were texting back and forth, and I thought how cool and surreal it was that he knew who I was. Since then, we’ve struck a friendship and played golf and done a few events together.”

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