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Monday, May 20, 2024

Jordan Walks Away From Hornets With Billions, But No Titles

  • NBA team is valued at $3 billion as Michael Jordan sells majority stake.
  • Jordan bought franchise for $180 million in 2010.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan will end his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets with a major return on his initial investment — despite just three playoff appearances during his 13-year tenure.

The Hornets’ $3 billion valuation, according to ESPN, is more than 10 times the $180 million Jordan paid for the franchise in 2010. That figure is much higher than Forbes’ most recent valuation of the team ($1.7 billion) but lower than the NBA record $4 billion the Phoenix Suns sold for last year.

In 2020, Jordan sold a minority stake to Gabe Plotkin, who is becoming one of the team’s new governors alongside Rick Schnall, who is selling his minority stake in the Atlanta Hawks.

Jordan’s $2 billion-plus haul from selling the Hornets only adds to his fortunes, which are still growing annually. He takes a 5% cut of Jordan Brand sales — reported to be a $256 million payment in 2022 — and owns his $20 million private golf club that is home to pros like Brooks Koepka.

The Buzz in Charlotte

Despite his star power, Jordan was never able to lure top free agents to Charlotte, which recorded a .407 winning percentage during 13 full seasons under Jordan.

The new Hornets owners will be tasked with returning the team to the playoffs under the leadership of star guard LaMelo Ball and the player selected No. 2 overall in next week’s NBA Draft.

Jordan reportedly would have reconsidered selling had the Hornets won the NBA Draft lottery and the right to pick French sensation Victor Wembanyama.

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