Michael Jordan Selling Majority Ownership of Charlotte Hornets

Former basketball star Michael Jordan has reached a deal to sell his majority share of the Charlotte Hornets to an investment group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the franchise announced Friday. In a press release, the NBA confirmed Jordan will keep a minority ownership stake with the Hornets once the transfer is completed. Jordan bought a majority stake in the North Carolina-based basketball team in 2010 from Bob Johnson for about $275 million. His decision to sell ends the renowned athletes’ 13-year run overseeing the organization as the NBA’s only black majority owner. “In the same way that it’s wonderful that one of our greatest, Michael Jordan, could become the principal governor of a team, he has the absolute right to sell at the same time,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the NBA Finals earlier this month. “Values have gone up a lot since he bought that team, so that is his decision.” Although the franchise did not disclose details of the deal, senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Jordan sold his stake for roughly $3 billion, which means he’ll yield significant profit from his original $275 million investment once the sale is approved. It’s not clear how long the process of the sale will take, which is subject to the approval of the NBA’s board of governors. The most recent sale of an NBA team came when Mat Ishbia bought the Phoenix Suns, a deal that when struck in December valued that franchise at $4 billion. Besides Plotkin and Schnall, the investment group—dubbed the “Buyer Group”—will also include Chris Shumway, Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, Dyal HomeCourt Partners, North Carolina native recording artist J. Cole, and country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, as well as several local Charlotte investors including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills, according to the NBA’s press release. Plotkin has been a minority stakeholder in the Hornets since 2019 and has also been an alternate governor on the NBA’s board of governors since 2019. He is the founder and chief investment officer of the firm Tallwoods Capital. Schnall has been a “significant” minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks since 2015 and is also the co-president of the private equity company Dubilier & Rice, where he has worked for nearly three decades. He is currently in the process of selling his investment in the Hawks, which is expected to be completed in the next several weeks. Meanwhile, Jordan will continue to oversee basketball operations through Thursday’s NBA draft and the start of free agency on July 1, according to ESPN. He declined to comment on the sale through his spokesperson, Estee Portnoy. Jordan’s Tenure As great as Jordan was on the court—national champion at North Carolina, two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time NBA champion, and in the never-ending conversation for being the greatest basketball player of all time—the Hornets never reached a championship level during his time as the owner. NBA commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan pose for a photo during a news conference to announce Charlotte, N.C., as the site of the 2017 NBA All-Star basketball game, on June 23, 2015. (Chuck Burton/AP Photo) Charlotte went 423–600 in his 13 seasons in charge, the 26th-best record over that span. It never won a playoff series in that time and hasn’t even been to the postseason in the last seven seasons. When Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, purchased majority ownership of the team, it created a great amount of buzz. But the Hornets’ struggles and inability to turn things around bothered Jordan. The first inclination that he was looking to get out of the NBA ownership business came in 2020 when he sold a minority stake to Plotkin and Sundheim. The Hornets are coming off an injury-plagued 27–55 season and hold the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. Victor Wembanyana is expected to go first overall on Thursday night, leaving Charlotte with the choice of either G League star guard Scoot Henderson or Alabama’s Brandon Miller. Charlotte’s biggest star is LaMelo Ball, and the team still has some decent foundational parts to build around including Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, and Mark Williams, the team’s starting center who played well last year as a rookie. Jordan was often criticized as an owner for not spending enough in free agency to make the Hornets competitive. Charlotte has not won a playoff series since the 2001–2002 season and has never won an NBA championship.

Michael Jordan Selling Majority Ownership of Charlotte Hornets

Former basketball star Michael Jordan has reached a deal to sell his majority share of the Charlotte Hornets to an investment group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the franchise announced Friday.

In a press release, the NBA confirmed Jordan will keep a minority ownership stake with the Hornets once the transfer is completed.

Jordan bought a majority stake in the North Carolina-based basketball team in 2010 from Bob Johnson for about $275 million. His decision to sell ends the renowned athletes’ 13-year run overseeing the organization as the NBA’s only black majority owner.

“In the same way that it’s wonderful that one of our greatest, Michael Jordan, could become the principal governor of a team, he has the absolute right to sell at the same time,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the NBA Finals earlier this month. “Values have gone up a lot since he bought that team, so that is his decision.”

Although the franchise did not disclose details of the deal, senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Jordan sold his stake for roughly $3 billion, which means he’ll yield significant profit from his original $275 million investment once the sale is approved.

It’s not clear how long the process of the sale will take, which is subject to the approval of the NBA’s board of governors. The most recent sale of an NBA team came when Mat Ishbia bought the Phoenix Suns, a deal that when struck in December valued that franchise at $4 billion.

Besides Plotkin and Schnall, the investment group—dubbed the “Buyer Group”—will also include Chris Shumway, Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, Dyal HomeCourt Partners, North Carolina native recording artist J. Cole, and country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, as well as several local Charlotte investors including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills, according to the NBA’s press release.

Plotkin has been a minority stakeholder in the Hornets since 2019 and has also been an alternate governor on the NBA’s board of governors since 2019. He is the founder and chief investment officer of the firm Tallwoods Capital.

Schnall has been a “significant” minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks since 2015 and is also the co-president of the private equity company Dubilier & Rice, where he has worked for nearly three decades. He is currently in the process of selling his investment in the Hawks, which is expected to be completed in the next several weeks.

Meanwhile, Jordan will continue to oversee basketball operations through Thursday’s NBA draft and the start of free agency on July 1, according to ESPN. He declined to comment on the sale through his spokesperson, Estee Portnoy.

Jordan’s Tenure

As great as Jordan was on the court—national champion at North Carolina, two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time NBA champion, and in the never-ending conversation for being the greatest basketball player of all time—the Hornets never reached a championship level during his time as the owner.

Epoch Times Photo
NBA commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan pose for a photo during a news conference to announce Charlotte, N.C., as the site of the 2017 NBA All-Star basketball game, on June 23, 2015. (Chuck Burton/AP Photo)

Charlotte went 423–600 in his 13 seasons in charge, the 26th-best record over that span. It never won a playoff series in that time and hasn’t even been to the postseason in the last seven seasons.

When Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, purchased majority ownership of the team, it created a great amount of buzz.

But the Hornets’ struggles and inability to turn things around bothered Jordan. The first inclination that he was looking to get out of the NBA ownership business came in 2020 when he sold a minority stake to Plotkin and Sundheim.

The Hornets are coming off an injury-plagued 27–55 season and hold the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. Victor Wembanyana is expected to go first overall on Thursday night, leaving Charlotte with the choice of either G League star guard Scoot Henderson or Alabama’s Brandon Miller.

Charlotte’s biggest star is LaMelo Ball, and the team still has some decent foundational parts to build around including Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, and Mark Williams, the team’s starting center who played well last year as a rookie.

Jordan was often criticized as an owner for not spending enough in free agency to make the Hornets competitive. Charlotte has not won a playoff series since the 2001–2002 season and has never won an NBA championship.