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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Michael Jordan in Talks to Sell Charlotte Hornets

  • ESPN reports that Jordan is talks to sell majority stake of franchise he's owned since 2010.
  • Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall have had serious talks to acquire Jordan's controlling interest.
Michael Jordan in talks to sell Hornets.
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan is reportedly in advanced talks to sell his majority of stake in the Charlotte Hornets, a potential deal that could leave the NBA without a Black controlling owner. 

ESPN reported Thursday that Jordan was negotiating with Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, although the transaction wasn’t imminent. Messages left with the Hornets by Front Office Sports were not immediately returned. 

Jordan’s $275 million purchase of the Hornets was approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors in 2010. Four years prior, the six-time NBA champ acquired a minority interest in the team. Jordan is expected to keep a minority interest in the Hornets, according to ESPN. 

As one celebrity owner possibly exits the NBA, another is poised to jump in. Baseball great Alex Rodriguez is looking to take over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former New York Yankees slugger and partner Marc Lore need to fork over $250 million by March 28 as part of a $1.5 billion takeover.

There’s been skepticism about whether they’ll hit the deadline. But a spokesman for Rodriguez told the New York Post: “The money is in the bank and ready to be funded today.”

The few NBA teams that come on the market are fetching impressive valuations. The Phoenix Suns sold for a league record $4 billion to new owner Mat Ishbia in 2022. Joe Tsai paid $3.3 billion for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. Tilman Fertitta paid $2.2 billion for the Houston Rockets in 2017.

With a valuation of $7 billion, Forbes pegged the Golden State Warriors as the NBA’s most valuable team in 2022.

The New York Knicks ($6.1 billion), Los Angeles Lakers ($5.9 billion), Chicago Bulls ($4.1 billion), and Boston Celtics ($4 billion) rounded out the Top 5 most valuable teams. The Hornets ranked 28th out of 30 NBA clubs with a valuation of $1.67 billion.

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