According to the latest announcement by the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan is almost done with the sale of his major share in the team, which will result in the NBA having no Black majority ownership. The Hornets disclosed that the purchasing group is being led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, with Plotkin having previously held a minority stake in the team since 2019. On the other hand, Schnall has been a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks since 2015 and is currently in the process of selling that investment.
The exact duration for the NBA Board of Governors to finalize the selling process remains unclear. Jordan has opted to retain a minority share in Charlotte Hornets, which he bought for approximately $275 million in 2010. Jordan’s 13-year stint as the team’s overseer comes to an end with this decision to sell.NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged Jordan’s right to sell while praising his contribution to the league as both a player and a governor. Silver also noted the considerable increase in the team’s value since Jordan’s purchase, making it a profitable decision for Jordan to sell.
During the finals news conference, Silver expressed the Board of Governors’ emphasis on promoting diversity among ownership groups. He stated his desire for improved representation of principal governors and acknowledged that this is an area where the league needs to make progress. However, Silver also recognized that individual team transactions are ultimately shaped by the market, and that expanding the league would provide a better opportunity to address this issue directly.
Silver expressed his desire for increased diversity in principal governors and acknowledged that it is subject to the market forces. He suggested that if the league were to expand, it could directly focus on this issue. However, in individual team transactions, they have to follow the market trends. The exact sale price of the franchise was not disclosed, but ESPN reported that it was valued at $3 billion. The most recent sale of an NBA team was the Phoenix Suns, which was bought by Mat Ishbia for $4 billion in December.
Jordan’s representative, Estee Portnoy, stated that Jordan did not provide any comment regarding the sale. Despite Jordan’s impressive achievements in basketball, including being a national champion at North Carolina, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time NBA champion, and being considered one of the best players ever, the Hornets failed to achieve a championship level while he was the owner.
During the 13 seasons that Charlotte was under his leadership, the team had a record of 423-600. This record ranked 26th best during that time period. Unfortunately, the team never won a playoff series and has not made it to the postseason in the last seven seasons. A new potential ownership group for the Hornets includes several members such as recording artist J. Cole, country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, and several local Charlotte investors like Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills, pending approval. Chris Shumway and Ian Loring are also part of this group.
The ownership of HSE consists of not only the Hornets but also the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League and the Hornets Venom GT of the NBA 2K League. Additionally, they manage and operate the Spectrum Center, all of which are part of the sale.Jordan, who was raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, generated a lot of excitement when he purchased the majority ownership in the team. However, Jordan was upset by the Hornets’ struggles and inability to improve their performance. In 2020, he sold a minority stake to Plotkin and Sundheim, which was the first sign that he was considering leaving the NBA ownership business.
The Charlotte Hornets are recovering from a season of injuries which resulted in a disappointing 27-55 record. They possess the second pick in the upcoming NBA draft following Victor Wembanyana’s expected first overall selection. The team must decide between Scoot Henderson, a G League standout guard, or Brandon Miller from Alabama. LaMelo Ball is the biggest star on the team, while Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, and rookie starting center Mark Williams provide a solid foundation for the team to build upon. Owner Michael Jordan previously faced criticism for not investing enough in free agency to make the Hornets competitive.
In 2010, he assumed control of a team that had won 44 games the previous year but was eliminated in the first round by the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately, things only got worse from there. Charlotte, then known as the Bobcats, had a record of 34-48 in their first season under Jordan’s leadership and then had the dubious distinction of being the worst team in the NBA the following year, with a record of 7-59. Despite this, Charlotte was unable to secure the top pick in the NBA draft lottery and missed out on selecting Anthony Davis.
After making it to the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, Charlotte was defeated by Miami Heat. In the following years, the Hornets won 48 games, but again lost to Miami Heat in the first round, this time after seven games. Since then, Michael Jordan’s team has only had one winning season and twice failed to advance past the play-in tournament as the 10th seed. Charlotte has not won a playoff series since the 2001-02 season and has yet to clinch an NBA championship.