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Michael Jordan Finds a Buyer, Closes in on Charlotte Hornets Sale

Last Updated: June 30, 2023
MJ is ready to move on from life as an NBA owner — learn more about the Charlotte Hornets sale saga and the reported buyers.

Michael Jordan is finalizing a sale of his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Hornets minority investor Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority stakeholder Rick Schnall, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

Arguably the greatest player in NBA history, Jordan purchased the controlling equity stake in the Hornets from media mogul Robert Johnson in 2010 for $275 million, becoming the first former Black professional athlete to become the majority partner in a major American sports franchise. While the sale valuation is currently unreported, Forbes estimated the franchise to be worth $1.7 billion as of October 2022.

During his 13-season tenure as owner, Charlotte made the playoffs twice, did not win a postseason series, and had a cumulative regular season record of 423-600.

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Plotkin and Schnall would officially be co-governors if and when the sale is officially approved by the league. Jordan would still lead the franchise on an official basis through next week’s NBA Draft, where the Hornets have the No. 2 overall pick, and the start of free agency on July 1.

MJ is reportedly expected to hold a minority investment in the team after the completion of the sale and will still maintain a presence within the franchise.

Gabe Plotkin runs hedge fund Melvin Capital Management with a reported $3.5 billion in assets under management. Rick Schnall is the co-president at New York-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier, & Rice, and was part of the Hawks consortium led by Tony Ressler and Grant Hill that purchased the team in 2015.

Upon the sale’s approval, the NBA will no longer have any Black majority partners among its 30 franchises.

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