Michael Jordan Selling Part of Hornets Stake; Will Maintain Control

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC- FEBRUARY 12: Owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, hosts a press conference for media before NBA All-Star Weekend at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 12, 2019. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell a "large piece" of his Charlotte Hornets stake to two investors based in New York, though he will continue to possess majority control of the franchise, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

Jordan welcomed Gabe Plotkin, a Melvin Capital founder, and Daniel Sundheim, a DI Capital founder, to the organization on Saturday, per the team's official website:

"I'm excited to welcome Gabe and Dan as my partners in Hornets Sports & Entertainment. While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team's NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan's investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology and strive to compete with the best in the NBA. Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them."

Plotkin and Sundheim will not officially be Hornets co-owners until they are approved by the NBA. The process has already begun, though, and the deal is expected to be finalized "in the next couple of weeks," according to Bonnell. It's not known how much of the Hornets Plotkin and Sundheim will acquire.

Bonnell noted Jordan owns approximately 97 percent of the team.

Jordan, whom Forbes values at $1.9 billion, bought the Charlotte franchise—then the Bobcats—back in 2010 for $275 million. Earlier this year, Forbes valued the Hornets at approximately $1.3 billion, which was tied for the third-lowest valuation in the league.

When the North Carolina Tar Heels legend bought the team back in 2010, the six-time NBA champion made it known that he was looking to build a "winning team" in Charlotte:

"Purchasing the Bobcats is the culmination of my post-playing career goal of becoming the majority owner of an NBA franchise. I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to build a winning team in my home state of North Carolina.

"I plan to make this franchise an organization that Charlotte can be proud of, and I am committed to doing all that I can to achieve this goal."

The Hornets have made the playoffs just twice in Jordan's nine full seasons with the team, with their last postseason appearance coming back in 2016. They have not won a playoff series under Jordan.

According to Bonnell, Jordan was interested in bringing on investors with "deep resources" who can help the Hornets with modern technology.

A source told Bonnell that Jordan intends to run the Hornets for "a good, long time."

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