Report: Basketball icon Michael Jordan in talks to sell majority stake in Charlotte Hornets

8 months ago 8

Word is Michael Jordan could be letting go of most of his stake in the Charlotte Hornets.

The Charlotte Observer reported that while the basketball legend would still own a small portion of the franchise, he allegedly is negotiating to sell a considerable stake to a group that includes Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks.

Jordan’s stake in the Hornets dates back to 2010, when he acquired approximately 65 percent of the equity in the NBA expansion team from former majority owner Bob Johnson. The Chicago Bulls icon paid about $180 million to take majority control of the franchise.

Michael Jordan Charlotte HornetsBasketball legend Michael Jordan attends a press conference in January 2020 ahead of an NBA game between the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in Paris. Jordan is reportedly in talks to sell a bulk of his stake in the Hornets franchise. (Photo: Thibault Camus/AP, File)

The Hornets were worth about $287 million then, less than the $300 million expansion fee Johnson gave the NBA seven years before Jordan’s acquisition. 

Forbes estimated the Hornets to be worth $1.3 billion in 2019, the same year Jordan sold a portion of the franchise to Plotkin, founder of Melvin Capital, and DI Capital founder Daniel Sundheim, both New York-based investors. Jordan continued to hold 97 percent of the franchise’s equity.

During Jordan’s time as the team’s president for the past 11 or so years, the franchise has only made it to the playoffs twice, and their current six-year drought will continue due to Charlotte’s 22-49 record this year. They’ve gone 418-600 overall and have shuffled through five head coaches, including Steve Clifford’s second tenure after the termination of James Borrego.

Jordan reportedly has been spotted around the team less frequently. However, he was in Charlotte to visit with some kids from Make-A-Wish after making a record $10 million donation to the charity last month and sat on the bench for the second half of the Hornets’ March 3 loss to the Orlando Magic.

Jump Management, Jordan’s family office, issued a statement saying, “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” according to The Observer.

This is a developing story.

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