Michael Jordan may be one of the most legendary basketball players of all time, and while his achievements on the hardwood may be virtually unparalleled, it’s tough to say the same about his performance as an owner of an NBA franchise.
In 2006, His Airness used some of the hundreds of millions of dollars he earned over the course of his career to purchase a minority stake in the franchise that was then known as the Charlotte Bobcats, and he dropped $275 million to become the majority owner in 2010.
Charlotte (which rebranded as the Hornets in 2014) hasn’t exactly taken the NBA by storm under Jordan’s watch, and while he can’t be entirely blamed for the team’s lackluster performance, he also hasn’t inspired a ton of confidence thanks to how they’ve fared (the franchise has only made the playoffs three times since he took primary control.
As a result, it’s hard to imagine Hornets fans are going to be too shaken up by a report from Adrian Wojnarowski that suggests Jordan is on the verge of offloading his stake in the team to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, who purchased 20% of the franchise in 2019.
It’s unclear exactly how much of the Hornets Jordan currently owns, but it’s widely believed that number is between 70 and 80% (it’s worth noting Wojnarowski also says he’ll be retaining a minority stake while allowing Plotkin and Schnall to take over the reins as co-governors).
We’ll have to wait until the deal is finalized to firm up the numbers, but it’s safe to say Jordan is setting himself up for a very nice return on his initial investment; if we assumed he goes for the bare minimum, a 31% stake would net him more than $500 million, while a 59% share would allow him to eclipse the $1 billion mark based on a Forbes estimate that values the team at $1.7 billion.
Must be nice.