Michael Jordan Sells Charlotte Hornets: Ownership Era Comes to a Close

NBA legend Michael Jordan is finalizing the sale of the Charlotte Hornets, marking the end of his 13-year ownership tenure.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

According to ESPN’s NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael Jordan, the iconic NBA star, is finalizing the sale of the Charlotte Hornets. The agreement, which will be officially announced in the coming days, would transfer ownership of the Hornets to a consortium led by Gabe Plotkin, a minority shareholder in the Hornets, and Rick Schnall, a shareholder in the Atlanta Hawks.

The sale is currently awaiting the approval of the NBA commissioner, which is standard procedure for such transactions and is not expected to pose any issues. After the sale is completed, Jordan is expected to retain a minority stake in the Hornets. He has been the largest shareholder since 2010, when he acquired a majority stake by paying $275 million.

Speculations about Michael Jordan selling his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets have been circulating for the past few months. Finally, on Friday, the NBA icon made the decision official. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Jordan is selling the team to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall.

Plotkin and Schnall were already minority owners of the Hornets but will now assume full control of the franchise as Jordan sells his stake. With new ownership in place, the team may undergo significant changes. The first major decision will be selecting a player in the upcoming NBA Draft, where the Hornets hold the second overall pick.

This sale marks the end of Jordan’s 13-year ownership tenure of the franchise. He initially became a part-owner in 2006 and became the majority owner in 2010, making him the first former NBA player to hold a majority ownership stake. However, despite Jordan’s legendary status as a player, his time as an owner was not successful. The Hornets have had a winning season only three times in the past 13 years and have made it to the playoffs three times but failed to progress beyond the first round. In fact, they have not qualified for the playoffs since 2016.

In the most recent season, the Hornets had a poor record in the Eastern Conference with 27 wins and 55 losses. Their performance was hindered by the absence of star guard LaMelo Ball, who missed a significant portion of the year due to injury. Given the team’s lack of success, it was time for Jordan to move on and pass the reins to new ownership.

The timing is ideal for the new owners, who have a plethora of assets with which to rebuild the team. LaMelo Ball is considered one of the game’s most exciting young players. Furthermore, the Hornets have the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, which gives them the option to add intriguing young talent to their team.

During Jordan’s ownership, the Hornets had some positive moments, such as drafting Kemba Walker, who became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. However, the team struggled to build a competitive roster around Walker, resulting in disappointment. Jordan and the general manager, Mitch Kupchak, did not offer Walker a max contract, and since then, the team has faced difficulties.

Nonetheless, there are signs of optimism for the Hornets, particularly with the emergence of LaMelo Ball, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 2021. With new ownership and upcoming draft picks, the franchise has an opportunity to turn things around and strive for success.

The agreement will be formalized soon, pending league approval. Jordan will be active in basketball operations throughout the next NBA draft and free agency period since the Hornets have the second overall pick.

The sale concludes Jordan’s 13-year ownership journey, during which he rebranded the team as the Hornets and became the first former NBA player to become a billionaire. However, despite his efforts and influence, the Hornets have only made the playoffs twice since 2010.

The new ownership presents a fresh opportunity for the Charlotte Hornets to reshape the team. With promising young talent like LaMelo Ball and the upcoming draft pick, the franchise has a chance to build a competitive roster and aim for greater success in the future.

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