Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is reportedly in "serious talks" to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday (March 16).
Jordan, who owns 80% of the franchise, is reported to be engaged in discussions with a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, according to Wojnarowski, who said the six-time NBA champion would likely retain a minority stake as part of the sale.
"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. If sale is completed, Jordan would be expected to keep a minority stake in team," Wojnarowski tweeted.
Jordan, regarded by many as basketball's greatest player of all-time, is the NBA's only Black majority owner, having initially purchased a minority stake in the then-Charlotte Bobcats in 2006 before purchasing the majority stake from Robert L. Johnson, the first African-American billionaire, in 2010. Jordan later sold 20% of the Hornets' ownership stake to Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim in September 2019.
The Hornets are currently estimated to be valued at $1.77 billion, which ranks 26th among all 30 NBA teams, according to Sportico. Last month, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry reportedly reached an agreement to sell his stake in ownership to Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam for a $3.5 billion valuation, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to ESPN at the time.
The deal would be the second-highest valuation ever for an NBA team, following the recent record-setting purchase made by Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, which was completed earlier this month, as well as the third-highest involving a American professional sports team, also following the recent $4.65 billion purchase of the Denver Broncos made by the Walton family last year.