Michael Jordan considering sale of Hornets; no deal imminent
Michael Jordan is considering selling the Charlotte Hornets.
The six-time NBA champion is in negotiations to sell at least a portion of the franchise to a group that includes Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin.
“Four years ago, Michael Jordan sold a stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a Gabe Plotkin-led group,” Jump Management, which is Michael Jordan’s family office, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “As a natural step in a process due to that transaction, Michael and Gabe are in discussions about his group potentially buying an additional stake.”
No deal is imminent.
“At this time, it is unclear whether an additional sale will take place,” the statement read.
Jordan declined interview requests to discuss the potential sale of the team through his spokesperson, Estee Portnoy.
In 2019, Jordan sold a portion of the Hornets to Plotkin, a founder of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim of DI Capital, but Jordan still controlled the majority of the team’s equity.
It’s unclear at this point if Jordan is looking to sell his entire majority stake in the team, or just a portion of it.
Jordan is the NBA’s only Black owner. He purchased the expansion team from Bob Johnson for $180 million in 2010. The team had a net worth of $1.7 billion after the 2021-22 season, according to Forbes.
Jordan experienced plenty of success as an NBA player, leading the Chicago Bulls to three-peat championships twice while being named an NBA All-Star 14 times. He also has had success with his Jordan Brand line of merchandise and has a current net worth of $2 billion, per Forbes.
But the 60-year-old Jordan hasn’t had much success as an NBA owner.
Since 2010, the Hornets are 419-595 and they will miss the playoffs this season for the seventh straight year. The Hornets have reached the playoffs only twice in 13 seasons under Jordan and have never advanced to the second round.
The Hornets are listed as the 27th-most valuable NBA franchise in the 30-team league.
But franchises are a hot commodity.
Mat Ishbia, a mortgage executive, agreed to purchase the majority stake of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from embattled owner Robert Sarver for $4 billion in December. The league approved the sale last month.
And Joe Tsai, the co-founder of Alibaba, agreed in 2019 to buy the remaining 51% of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center for about $3.4 billion. Tsai had previously purchased 49% of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018, with the option to become controlling owner in 2021.
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