J. Cole and Eric Church Part of Group Buying Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets Stake

Michael Jordan Sells Majority Share of Charlotte Hornets

Introduction

Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player, is finalizing a deal to sell the majority share of the Charlotte Hornets, the franchise announced on Friday. This move will leave the 30-team NBA without any Black majority ownership, highlighting the lack of diversity in ownership groups within the league.

The Buyers

Jordan is selling the majority share to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, as confirmed by the Hornets. Plotkin has been a minority stakeholder in the Hornets since 2019, while Schnall has been a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks since 2015 and is in the process of selling his investment in that team.

Minority Stake and Selling Process

While the exact timeline for the sale’s finalization by the NBA’s Board of Governors is unclear, Jordan has expressed his intention to retain a minority stake in the Hornets. He initially bought the team in 2010 for approximately $275 million.

Jordan’s Unsuccessful Ownership

Jordan’s decision to sell the majority share of the Hornets marks the end of his 13-year run overseeing the organization, which unfortunately did not witness significant success. Despite his illustrious career as a player, including multiple championships and accolades, the Hornets failed to reach a championship level during Jordan’s tenure.

Throughout his ownership, the Hornets struggled on the court, posting a record of 423-600, ranking 26th among NBA teams during that period. The team failed to win a playoff series and has not made a postseason appearance in the last seven seasons.

Focus on Diversity in Ownership

In a news conference at the NBA Finals, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emphasized the league’s focus on diversity in ownership groups. While he expressed the desire for better representation of principal governors, Silver acknowledged that individual team transactions are driven by market forces.

Valuation and Sale Price

The sale price of the majority share was not immediately announced. However, according to ESPN sources, the franchise is estimated to be valued at $3 billion. This valuation highlights the growing values of NBA teams, with the most recent sale of the Phoenix Suns in December 2020 valuing the franchise at $4 billion.

New Potential Owners

Aside from Plotkin and Schnall, the new potential ownership group of the Hornets includes recording artist J. Cole, country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, and several local Charlotte investors such as Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills. This diverse group brings together individuals from various industries and backgrounds.

HSE Ownership

In addition to the Hornets, HSE ownership also includes the NBA G League’s Greensboro Swarm and NBA 2K League’s Hornets Venom GT. They are also responsible for managing and operating the Spectrum Center, the team’s home arena.

Jordan’s Frustration and Earlier Sale

Jordan’s decision to sell the majority share of the Hornets stems from his frustration with the team’s lack of success. In 2020, he sold a minority stake to Plotkin and Dan Sundheim, indicating his increasing disengagement from NBA ownership.

Current State of the Hornets

As the sale of the majority share unfolds, the Hornets are coming off a difficult season marred by injuries, finishing with a record of 27-55. However, they hold the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, providing an opportunity to bolster their roster.

With promising young talent such as LaMelo Ball and established players like Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and P.J. Washington, the Hornets have some foundational pieces to build around. Mark Williams, the team’s rookie center, showed promise last season.

Criticism of Jordan’s Ownership

Jordan faced criticism as an owner for not investing enough in free agency to make the Hornets competitive. His tenure as owner started in 2010, taking over a team that had won 44 games the previous year but was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Orlando Magic.

From that point, the team struggled, recording a dismal 7-59 record in the following season. Despite their poor performance, the Hornets failed to secure the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft lottery, missing out on the opportunity to select Anthony Davis.

Although the Hornets made the playoffs in 2013-14 and won 48 games in a season, they were unable to advance past the first round, losing to the Miami Heat. In the past seven years, the team has had only one winning season and exited early in the play-in tournament twice as the 10th seed.

Conclusion

The sale of the majority share of the Charlotte Hornets by Michael Jordan signifies the end of his ownership tenure. His decision to sell reflects the team’s lack of success during his ownership and his growing disengagement from NBA ownership. As the sale process unfolds, the Hornets have the opportunity to rebuild around their young talent and potentially achieve greater success in the future.