Michael Jordan’s 13-year tenure as the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets has officially come to an end. The team announced on Thursday that the sale of a majority stake in the franchise to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall is complete.
The team was sold at a valuation of approximately $3 billion, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The vote on the sale was 29-1, with New York Knicks owner James Dolan the lone dissenting voice.
From the press release:
“The opportunity to be the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets in my home state of North Carolina for the last 13 years has been a tremendous honor,” said Jordan. “I’m proud of all that the organization accomplished: the exciting on-court moments, the return of the Hornets name, Charlotte hosting the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and HSE becoming a true pillar of this community. Through the years, the unwavering commitment, passion and loyalty of our Hornets fans has been incredible. As I transition into a minority ownership role, I’m thrilled to be able to pass the reins to two successful, innovative and strategic leaders in Gabe and Rick. I know the Hornets organization is in great hands moving forward. I’m excited about the future of the team and will continue to support the organization and the community in my new role in the years ahead.”
Plotkin and Schnall said the following:
“We want to thank Michael for this opportunity, as well as his support throughout this process. During his ownership, he brought stability to the Hornets franchise, achieved many business milestones, reconnected and reinvested in the Charlotte community and has the organization positioned for greater success. We look forward to building upon this success in the years to come.” Jordan purchased the franchise in 2010, back when it was still known as the Charlotte Bobcats, for a price of $275 million. He had been the league’s lone Black majority owner, and the best former player to ever own a team. Jordan will maintain a minority ownership stake after the completion of the sale.
Schnall was previously a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks, while Plotkin has been a minority owner of the Hornets since 2019. Those two will become the team’s new governors, while the group also includes Charlotte-based recording artists J. Cole and Eric Church.
Jordan’s reign was overall disappointing. In 13 seasons under his leadership, the team went 423-600, made just three playoff appearances and did not win a single series. During the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, the then-Bobcats went 7-59, which is the worst record in NBA history — both in terms of fewest wins and lowest winning percentage. One of the few memorable accomplishments during the Jordan era was reclaiming the Hornets’ name and original franchise records and history.
Last season, the Hornets went 27-55, which was the fourth-worst record in the league. They won the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and used it to select Brandon Miller out of Alabama. That was a slightly controversial choice with Scoot Henderson still on the board, but regardless the Hornets will go into the future with an interesting young duo in Miller and LaMelo Ball.