Legendary player and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell the bulk of his stake in the NBA franchise to a consortium managed by private equity executives Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall.
A source familiar with the agreement’s contents who was not authorised to discuss them publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the agreements placed a $3 billion value on the club as a whole. The club did not say what proportion of Jordan’s stock he was selling, just that he would remain a minority stakeholder, in their announcement of the transaction.
Both country music superstar Eric Church and North Carolina native rapper J. Cole are part of the buying group.
Jordan is widely regarded as the game’s best player due to his six titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. A spokesperson from Jordan did not provide any information in response to our inquiry.
Silver noted that some former Black players, including David Robinson, Grant Hill, Shaquille O’Neal, and Dwyane Wade, have joined ownership groups with minor holdings as a way for club owners to diversify their investor bases.
The price at which NBA franchises may be sold has risen dramatically in recent years, making many more owners open to the idea. The sale of the Hornets marks the third significant shift in NBA ownership in the last calendar year.
Following Robert Sarver’s suspension by the NBA for widespread workplace misbehaviour, a consortium headed by Mat Ishbia bought a controlling ownership in the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury in December. Dyal HomeCourt Partners is one of the investors buying Jordan’s stake in the Hornets, and they sold their shares to Ishbia’s company as part of the agreement. According to sources not authorised to discuss the matter publicly, the Suns and Mercury were sold for $4 billion in that transaction.
Marc Lasry, a previous co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, sold his stake in the team to Jimmy and Dee Haslam of the Cleveland Browns in April. A source familiar with the arrangement told us that the Bucks were valued at $3.5 billion.
Only twice under Jordan’s ownership have the Hornets reached the playoffs, and both times they were eliminated in the first round.
They had several promising young players like Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball, and they were on course to grow around them. Bridges was a restricted free agent for the Hornets last summer, but when he pled no contest to felony domestic abuse charges, the team decided not to re-sign him. N.B.A. rules state that Bridges must sit out 30 games this season and 10 more the next year without pay.
The Hornets finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA and the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference this season. They moved up the draught order by two spots and now hold the second overall selection in this month’s draught.