The world of sports and finance has been abuzz with news of Michael Jordan, widely recognized as basketball’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), deciding to sell his majority stake in the NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets. The windfall expected from this move? We’re talking a whopping billion-dollar range.
An official announcement on Friday confirmed that Jordan would be passing the baton to a consortium spearheaded by financiers Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall. It’s worth noting that Plotkin, the founder of investment firm Tallwoods Capital, and Daniel Sundheim had previously acquired a minority stake from Jordan in 2019. The acquisition group also includes popular rapper J. Cole.
Although the transaction’s actual dollar amount remains under wraps, it’s a safe bet to assume it’s a considerable leap from the $275 million Jordan shelled out for the majority stake back in 2010, back when the team was known as the Charlotte Bobcats.
With ESPN citing league sources valuing the Hornets at a cool $3 billion, Jordan’s decision to sell is likely to net him a handsome return. When the sale goes through, Plotkin and Schnall (who already holds a minority share in the Atlanta Hawks NBA team) are set to take on the role of governors.
Basketball fans need not worry though, Jordan isn’t leaving the game entirely. He will still oversee basketball operations for the upcoming NBA draft and for the start of free agency on July 1, ESPN reports. He’s also retaining a minority stake in the Hornets, a unique position that makes him the only Black majority owner within the 30-team NBA league.
This move is the latest in a string of astute business maneuvers that helped transform Jordan from a sports icon to a billionaire businessman. While his on-court prowess and athletic achievements are legendary, most of Jordan’s estimated $2 billion wealth, according to Forbes, stems from endeavors beyond the hardwood.
Take his 1984 deal with Nike, for instance. That partnership led to the creation of the phenomenally popular Air Jordan sneakers, a franchise that has reportedly earned Jordan an impressive $1.3 billion in revenues. As the saying goes, the shoe certainly fits, and in this case, it seems to be a gold-plated sneaker for the basketball legend.