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Report: Michael Jordan in talks to sell his majority share of Hornets

Michael Jordan

Former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan looks on as he addresses a press conference ahead of the NBA basketball match between Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on January 24, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Michael Jordan, the North Carolina native who bought the Hornets and is the only black majority owner of an NBA team, is in talks to sell his shares of the franchise, according to an unexpected report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is engaged in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the franchise to a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

No deal is imminent, but there’s significant momentum on a sale that would eventually install Plotkin and Schnall as the co-governors of the Hornets, sources said.

Jordan reportedly would hold on to a minority share of the team.

Jordan first bought a stake in the Hornets in 2009 and became the team’s governor and face of ownership. In 2019 he purchased the rest of the franchise and took over sole ownership, and in doing so set a bar that players such as Grant Hill — minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks — have followed and others such as LeBron James aspire to.

Jordan has since sold off some minority shares, including to Plotkin. Forbes estimates the value of the Hornets franchise at $1.7 billion, although the publication’s estimates have been off (and often on the low side). Jordan also owns the NASCAR team 23XI Racing along with current Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin.

This could be a good time to buy in on the Hornets. In part because the NBA is expected to have soon a new labor deal followed by a new — and likely doubled in revenue — national television deal, bringing income and stability to the league. On the court, the Hornets are rebuilding but have a cornerstone in LaMelo Ball and a high draft pick this June in a stacked draft. This could be a very good time to buy low on Charlotte.

And Jordan may be ready for whatever is next in his life.