NBA icon Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets for $3 billion, the Associated Press reports. Jordan has been the only Black majority owner of a professional sports franchise since 2010.
Also included in the deal are Greensboro Swarm, the NBA G League affiliate of the Hornets, and Hornets Venom GT, the affiliated NBA 2K League e-sports team.
According to reports, the team will be sold to a group that includes Gabe Plotkin, Rick Schnall, hip hop superstar J. Cole and several others. Since 2019, Plotkin has been a minority stakeholder in the Hornets and Schnall has been a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks since 2015. He is currently in the process of selling his stake in the team.
Jordan declined to comment on the sale through his spokesperson, Estee Portnoy.
At a news conference during the NBA Finals, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the possibility of Jordan selling the franchise.
“In the same way that it’s wonderful that one of our greatest, Michael Jordan, could become the principal governor of a team, he has the absolute right to sell at the same time,” Silver said. “Values have gone up a lot since he bought that team, so that is his decision.”
Silver added that the Board of Governors is seeking more minority owners in the future.
“I would love to have better representation in terms of principal governors,” Silver added. “It’s a marketplace. It’s something that if we were expanding that the league would be in a position to focus directly on that, but in individual team transactions, the market takes us where we are.”
Regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Jordan won six championships, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five NBA MVP awards and 10 scoring titles in his illustrious career with the Chicago Bulls.
In 2010, he purchased a majority stake in the Hornets for $275 million when they were still known as the Charlotte Bobcats from Robert L. Johnson, the co-founder of BET.
Since Jordan purchased the team, the Hornets have posted a record 423-600 which is the 26th-best record over that span. The franchise has never won a playoff series in that time and hasn’t even been to the postseason in the last seven seasons.