Basketball legend Michael Jordan has agreed to sell his majority stake in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets to an investment consortium, the team announced Friday.
The group of buyers is led by Gabe Plotkin, chief investment officer at Tallwoods Capital LLC, and Rick Schnall, co-chairman of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
The group also includes musicians J. Cole and Eric Church, said a press release from Hornets Sports & Entertainment which did not disclose financial terms.
Jordan will retain a minority stake in the franchise, the team said. The transaction is subject to NBA approval.
Jordan acquired a majority investment in the Hornets in 2010 for $275 million. The franchise was the only team in the league to be majority black owned.
Read the full press release at https://t.co/BzkRIrrehy.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) June 16, 2023
Under the terms of the deal, the Hornets as a whole were valued at $3 billion, according to The New York Times. Other outlets valued the Hornets at over $1.7 billion. It was unclear how much of Jordan’s initial stake he would keep.
Often considered the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan has led teams to six NBA titles, won the league’s Most Valuable Player award five times and won two Olympic gold medals. He played his last professional game in 2003.
However, Jordan’s tenure as the sole black owner of an NBA team was less successful.
– ‘Failure on the court’ –
During her 13-year reign, Charlotte only reached the playoffs three times, losing in the first round three times.
Last season, Charlotte finished one spot behind the Eastern Conference at 27-55.
Rumors of Jordan’s interest in selling his stake have been circulating for several weeks.
Speaking on the eve of the NBA Finals last month, league commissioner Adam Silver said Jordan had “the absolute right to sell” but admitted he hoped to see more owners. black teams in the future.
“I would like to have better representation in terms of senior governors,” Silver said. “It’s a market. It’s something that if we expanded, the league would be able to focus directly on that, but in individual team trades, the market takes us to where we are.
“I will say that I know that more and more of our governors are focusing on diversity in their ownership groups, just as they are in their front office, so the trend lines have been positive over the past few years. “
News of Jordan’s decision to sell was widely lamented by Charlotte commentators.
Charlotte Observer sports columnist Scott Fowler said Jordan’s departure marked the “end of an era” as the NBA’s only black majority owner of a team.
“But he failed as owner of the Hornets in the way he would consider most important: he never made Charlotte a winner,” Fowler wrote Friday.
“Jordan’s reign as Charlotte’s most famous sports owner was ultimately a public relations success, but a failure on the court.”
The sale of the Hornets marks the third change of franchise ownership in the NBA in the past year and coincides with a period in which the team’s values have reportedly skyrocketed.
The Phoenix Suns were taken over in December by a consortium led by billionaire Mat Ishbia while Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry sold his 25% stake in the club to Jimmy and Dee Haslam, owners of the Cleveland Browns team. NFL.
According to Forbes, Jordan has a net worth of around $2 billion, with around $1.8 billion of his career earnings coming from deals with business partners including Nike, Hanes and Gatorade.
The origin of Jordan’s lucrative partnership with Nike was chronicled earlier this year in the film “Air,” directed by Ben Affleck.
To subscribe to MORE APPLICANT to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, Contact us.