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How Have the Hornets Fared Under Michael Jordan’s Watch?

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The NBA legend is reportedly interested in selling a majority stake of the franchise he bought in 2010. Boardroom breaks down the Hornets during MJ’s tenure.

Michael Jordan has succeeded at almost everything there is for one to accomplish, and outside his baseball career, there really isn’t much to dispute. But his ownership in the Charlotte Hornets is up there.

On Thursday, ESPN reported that Jordan’s “engaged in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the franchise” to a group led by minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall. While the report indicates that nothing is imminent, the process has begun at the very least with “significant momentum” toward something official. However, Jordan wouldn’t give up full control — he’d still be a minority owner.

The six-time NBA champion and all-around legend paid $275 million for the Hornets back in 2010. Forbes currently values the Hornets at $1.7 billion, but as we’ve seen in recent months, any sale would likely cost more than that. Mat Ishbia recently bought the Phoenix Suns and Mercury for $4 billion despite the team’s estimated $2.7 billion value.

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Jordan’s Ownership Tenure

The Hornets have the fourth-worst record (22-49) in the Association this season, have made the postseason twice since 2010, and haven’t won a playoff series in 18 straight seasons — tied with the Kings and Timberwolves. He’s going to see an enormous return on investment, but the Hornets haven’t gotten the job done under MJ’s watch.

  • Since 2010, Charlotte has never finished higher than 15th in league attendance.
  • The 2016-17 campaign was the only year in which Jordan’s Hornets were among the top 10 highest-spending teams in the league ($103 million).
  • This year, they have the sixth-lowest active cap ($104.8 million).

At 60 years old, Jordan’s net worth is a reported $2 billion and is the highest-paid athlete of all time with a projected $3.3 billion in earnings through his playing career, business ventures, and his partnership with Nike. It’s seemingly difficult to get top-tier talent to Charlotte via free agency, thus assembling through the draft has been their most reliable route — though it still hasn’t paid off.

Perhaps a better future is in store with a new ownership group preparing to take over.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.