WASHINGTON: NBA legend Michael Jordan’s tenure as a majority owner in the league officially ended Thursday as the sale of his stake of the Charlotte Hornets was approved by league governors.
The purchasing group is led by Gabe Plotkin, chief investment officer at Tallwoods Capital LLC, and Rick Schnall, co-president of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
“The sale, which has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, immediately gives Plotkin and Schnall the controlling interest in the franchise,” the Hornets said in a statement.
Plotkin and Schnall said they would serve as co-chairmen of Hornets Sports and Entertainment “and will rotate the team’s governorship every five years, beginning with Schnall.”
The deal, first announced in June, reportedly valued the Hornets at $3 billion.
Jordan acquired a controlling investment in the Hornets in 2010 for $275 million. The franchise had been the league’s sole team with Black-majority ownership.
Jordan, who retained a minority stake in the franchise, said in a statement he was grateful to have the chance to guide the team for more than a decade.
“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,” Jordan said.
“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.”
Often considered the greatest-ever basketball player, Jordan led teams to six NBA titles, won the league’s Most Valuable Player award five times and garnered two Olympic gold medals. He played his last game professionally in 2003.
However, Jordan’s tenure as an owner was less successful.
During his 13-year reign, Charlotte reached the playoffs just three times, losing in the first round on all three occasions.
Last season, Charlotte finished one place off the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 27-55.
Schnall and Plotkin said in their joint statement that they hope to build on the “stability” that Jordan brought to the franchise.
“We’re excited about the organization’s future,” they said. “Our vision is to take the Hornets to the next level both on and off the court.”