Michael Jordan to sell majority stake in Charlotte Hornets

ESPN logo
Friday, June 16, 2023
ABC11 24/7 Streaming Channel
Watch Eyewitness News, First Alert Weather, and original programming.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is finalizing a sale of the Charlotte Hornets, a deal league sources tell ESPN is valued at approximately $3 billion.

The buyer is a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall. The purchase will end Jordan's 13-year run as majority owner and leave the NBA without a single Black majority owner.

The Hornets confirmed Friday that the sale of the team was agreed on but still needed to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors.

Schnall, a minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks, and Plotkin, a minority owner with the Hornets, will become the franchise's governors once the NBA completes its vetting and approval process.

North Carolina natives J. Cole and Eric Church are also part of the group that will own the Hornets.

Jordan will continue to oversee basketball operations through next Thursday's NBA draft and the start of free agency on July 1.

SEE ALSO | Michael Jordan donates $10M to Make-A-Wish

To celebrate his 60th birthday, Michael Jordan made the largest single donation in Make-A-Wish history.

Once the sale is complete, Jordan is expected to keep a minority stake and a presence with the franchise.

Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP, is largely considered to be the greatest player in the history of the game and has been the league's only Black majority owner. Jordan paid $275 million for a majority stake in the franchise in 2010.

Jordan sold a significant minority stake to Plotkin, founder and chief investment officer of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, in 2020, and Sundheim is part of the group purchasing the Hornets.

Schnall, co-president at private equity firm of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in New York, was part of a group that includes majority owner Tony Ressler and Grant Hill that purchased the Hawks in 2015 for $850 million.

After a 27-55 season riddled with injuries to most of the team's top players, the Hornets hold the No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

SEE ALSO | Game-worn Michael Jordan sneakers sell for record-breaking $1.47 million

MJ's shoes became the first pair of sneakers to sell for more than $1 million at auction.