Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the team announced on Friday.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the sale values the Hornets at approximately $3 billion.
Charlotte Hornets @hornets
Read the full release on https://t.co/BzkRIrrehy.
Plotkin, who is a minority governor of the Hornets, and Schnall, who was a minority governor of the Atlanta Hawks, will become the Hornets’ governors once the sale is approved and finalized.
Along with Plotkin and Schnall, the Hornets announced that rapper J. Cole and country music star Eric Church are part of the new ownership group.
Jordan, who is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time by virtue of his six championships, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five NBA MVP awards and 10 scoring titles with the Chicago Bulls, purchased a majority stake in the Hornets for $275 million in 2010 back when they were still known as the Charlotte Bobcats.
The 60-year-old NBA icon had been the league’s only Black majority owner, and he was also the first former NBA player to become a billionaire.
Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina, was considered the ideal candidate to take the Hornets franchise to the next level, but they enjoyed little success during his tenure as majority owner.
In Jordan’s 13 seasons at the helm, Charlotte reached the playoffs only twice, getting eliminated the first round in both 2014 and 2016.
The Hornets have not made the playoffs since 2016, and their only winning season during that time came in 2021-22 when they went 43-39, but lost in the postseason play-in tournament.
Jordan’s tenure was marred by questionable draft picks in the form of top-10 busts such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh and Frank Kaminsky.
MJ’s best pick was arguably LaMelo Ball, who went third overall in 2020 and won the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Ball was limited to 36 games last season due to injury, resulting in the Hornets going a disappointing 27-55.
If Ball can stay healthy and the Hornets hit a home run with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft by likely selecting either Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson, they do have a chance to turn things around quickly, however.
Per Wojnarowski, the Hornets plan to allow Jordan to remain in control of basketball operations through next week’s draft and the start of free agency on July 1 before the power shifts to Plotkin and Schnall.