NBA legend Michael Jordan is finalizing a sale of the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The agreement is expected to be finalized and signed in the coming days.
Wojnarowski originally reported back in March that Jordan was in talks to sell the Hornets to Plotkin and Schnall. Plotkin was already a minority owner of the team, and Schnall was previously a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks.
Per Hornets PR’s press release, rapper J. Cole and country artist Eric Church are part of the purchasing group. Cole hails from Fayetteville, is a long-time Hornets supporter and even made a foray into pro basketball himself last summer with the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Church is from Granite Falls and graduated from Appalachian State University. He cancelled a concert in 2022 so he could watch the Duke-North Carolina Final Four game in the NCAA Tournament. Clearly, both of these guys love hoops.
After 13 years, Jordan will no longer be in charge of his home state’s NBA franchise. Woj notes in his story that Jordan will continue to oversee basketball operations until July 1 — after that, Plotkin and Schnall will assume control and Jordan will fall back into a minority ownership presence. That tracks after it was reported that the Hornets would like to bring Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller back to Charlotte to meet with Jordan ahead of the draft on June 22.
Jordan originally purchased the franchise for $275M in 2010. Now, he’s selling it for an estimated $3B (three billion dollars) in 2023. Solid investment.
We’ll keep you updated as more information comes out. As of now, it seems like very little is going to change in the immediate future. Jordan will be in the war room on draft night, and there likely won’t be any major front office changes in the middle of the summer.
Side note: there might not be anyone more plugged in to the NBA ownership sphere than Bill Simmons. This comment from September 2022, made totally in passing on his podcast, had some deadly-accurate foreshadowing.