NBA: Michael Jordan eyes selling stake in Charlotte Hornets, says ESPN

Former NBA star Michael Jordan bought a controlling interest in the Charlotte Hornets in 2010. PHOTO: AFP

CHARLOTTE – NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is in talks to sell a majority stake in the basketball franchise, ESPN reported, without saying where it got the information.

The six-time National Basketball Association champion is discussing the sale with a consortium led by Gabe Plotkin, Hornets minority owner and founder of Melvin Capital Management LP, and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, according to the report. 

The Chicago Bulls icon, who is the league’s only Black majority owner, would retain a minority stake if the deal is completed, ESPN said.

The Hornets, who have not won a championship since they entered the NBA, were valued at US$1.7 billion (S$2.29 billion) by Forbes in October, ranking them 27th among the 30 teams. Jordan bought a controlling interest in the franchise in 2010.

A group led by Mat Ishiba, chief executive officer of United Wholesale Mortgage, purchased the Phoenix Suns in December for about US$4 billion. In February, ESPN reported Avenue Capital Management co-founder Marc Lasry was planning to sell his stake in the Milwaukee Bucks at a US$3.5 billion valuation.

The Charlotte Hornets first entered the NBA in 1988, but suspended operations in 2002. The North Carolina franchise was reactivated as the Bobcats in 2004, then renamed the Hornets at the start of the 2014-15 season. BLOOMBERG

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