Michael Jordan is selling part of the Charlotte Hornets to two businessmen but will remain the majority owner of the franchise. Late on Saturday afternoon, the Hornets confirmed the news that Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim will become part of the ownership group, pending NBA approval.
According to the statement that Jordan released, Plotkin and Sundheim will operate in the background, with Jordan retaining full control of all decision making regarding the team and organization. Via Hornets.com:
“I’m excited to welcome Gabe and Dan as my partners in Hornets Sports & Entertainment,” said Michael Jordan. “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.”
Jordan has been involved with the Hornets since 2006 when he became a minority owner in the days when they were still called the Bobcats. In 2010, he took full control of the team and became the only African-American to be a majority owner of an NBA franchise.
Under his leadership, the team has had limited success, making the playoffs just three times and losing in the first round on every occasion. He’s also faced criticism for the stance he took during the 2011 lockout, during which he wanted to limit the players’ share of basketball related income — a direct reversal of the stance he took during his playing days.
Along with the changes in ownership, this will be a much different season in Charlotte, as they’ll be without franchise icon Kemba Walker. After eight seasons with the team, Walker grew frustrated with the lack of success and the lowball offer the Hornets made in free agency. He’s now with the Boston Celtics, who acquired the All-Star via a sign-and-trade earlier this offseason.