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Michael Jordan’s Hornets sale approved by NBA’s board of governors: report

The NBA’s board of governors approved the sale of the Charlotte Hornets, which clears a major step in ending Michael Jordan’s 13-year stint as majority owner of the franchise, ESPN reported Sunday. 

It was a nearly unanimous vote, ESPN added, as all owners except the New York Knicks’ James Dolan voted for the sale to go through. 

A group led by businessmen Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin is purchasing the team for an estimated $3 billion, and with the board of governors approving the sale, it should be done in the next one to two weeks.

Jordan paid $275 million for the majority stake of the Hornets in 2010, and to date, he has been the league’s only Black majority owner.

“In the same way that it’s wonderful that one of our greatest, Michael Jordan, could become the principal governor of a team, he has the absolute right to sell at the same time,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said this month at the NBA Finals. “Values have gone up a lot since he bought that team, so that is his decision.”

Both Schnall and Plotkin are no newcomers to owning an NBA franchise.


Jordan knows Plotkin, who was a minority owner of the Hornets. As for Schnall, he owned a minority stake in the Atlanta Hawks. 

Jordan won’t be leaving the franchise entirely. He will remain a minority stakeholder in the Hornets, while Plotkin and Schnall assume the role as the franchise’s governors. 

Michael Jordan speaks to media

Other members of the Schnall-Plotkin group include rapper J. Cole, a North Carolina native, Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, country music star Eric Church and more. 

It’s an exciting time for the Hornets despite their brutal 27-55 record during the 2022-2023 season. They still have young talent, including LaMelo Ball at point guard, while drafting Alabama’s Brandon Miller No. 2 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Under Jordan’s majority ownership reign, the Hornets weren’t able to reach the level of NBA success that he achieved in his illustrious playing career. 

They went 423-600 in 13 seasons under their majority owner, which ranks 26th out of 30 in the same span.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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