Jun 16, 2023 - Sports

Michael Jordan selling majority stake in Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan responds to a question during a news conference on Oct. 28, 2014. Photo: Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is selling his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced Friday.

Why it matters: Widely regarded as the greatest NBA player of all time, Jordan has been the league's lone Black majority owner for the last 13 years.

  • The Hornets are worth an estimated $1.7 billion, per Forbes. The team did not disclose the sale price in its announcement.
  • Jordan will retain a minority stake in the team, per the statement.
  • The NBA Board of Governors must approve the sale to a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall before the deal is official.

Zoom in: Plotkin, also an alternate governor on the board since 2019, acquired his minority stake in the Hornets in 2019. He is the founder and chief investment officer of an investment firm.

  • Schnall, co-president of a private equity company, is expected to finalize a sale of his investment in the Hawks in the coming weeks. Since 2015 he has served as an alternate governor on the league's Board of Governors.
  • The group buying the team also includes North Carolina natives rapper J. Cole and country music star Eric Church.

Of note: Included in the deal are Greensboro Swarm, the NBA G League affiliate of the Hornets, and Hornets Venom GT, the affiliated NBA 2K League esports team.

Flashback: Jordan purchased his majority stake in the team in 2010, back when the team was known as the Bobcats, from former owner Bob Johnson for $180 million. Jordan had owned a minority stake in the team since 2006.

  • In 2020, Jordan sold a minority stake to Plotkin and Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, as ESPN reported.

The big picture: The team’s on-court performance has been mediocre in recent years, and they haven’t made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season.

  • Charlotte has the second pick in the NBA Draft later this month.
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