In early 2010, Michael Jordan purchased a majority ownership stake in what was then the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming the first ex-player to become a majority owner of a franchise in the league. In addition to his status as arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, Jordan was already a key decision-maker with the now-Hornets franchise on the basketball operations side, and his presence on the league’s Board of Governors brought cache in myriad ways.
On Thursday evening, however, a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Jordan’s run as the majority owner of the Hornets could be coming in to an end in the near future.
ESPN Sources: Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is engaged in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the franchise to a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall. pic.twitter.com/jg03W25s49
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 16, 2023
Wojnarowski reports that Jordan is in “serious talks” with a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, even if no sale is currently imminent. Crucially, the reporting indicates that Jordan would not be divesting entirely in this scenario, maintaining a minority stake, but ESPN notes “significant momentum on a sale” and there is a grand difference between being No. 1 and anything below No. 1 on a franchise call sheet.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses and, if a sale does happen, just how much Charlotte’s evaluation would be at a time when franchise values seem to be sky-high. Still, it isn’t done just yet, and this is considered a developing situation with wide-ranging impact.