Why Did Michael Jordan Sell the Hornets? What Led to This Decision?

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has agreed to sell a majority share of the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, a person familiar with the transaction told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. Not exactly a surprise.

Jordan has looked into selling, and late in the season Plotkin and Schnall emerged as potential buyers for a majority share.

Why Did Michael Jordan Sell the Hornets?

Michael Jordan has explained his decision to sell a majority stake in NBA team Charlotte Hornets for $ 3 billion (£2.35bn).

The NBA legend had been the owner of the Hornets since 2010 when he first completed the purchase of the NBA franchise for £216million.

According to him,

“Although my love for the game of basketball and the NBA remains strong, now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and focus on my family, my interests, and some new challenges,” said Jordan.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I look forward to supporting the team and the community in my new role for many years to come.

“This is a Thank You, not a goodbye, because the state of North Carolina, the city of Charlotte, and the Hornets will always have a special place in my heart.”

Jordan added: “Thirteen years ago, I had the honor of becoming the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The chance to own the NBA franchise in my home state and a city I love was truly a dream come true.

Who are Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall?

It seems like just yesterday that Plotkin—four years before he bought his minority share of the Hornets—founded and operated Melvin Capital, an investment firm that lost billions in the 2021 GameStop short squeeze.

Before that, Plotkin’s firm made millions of dollars for investors, and Plotkin, according to Bloomberg, made more than $800m in 2020. He is now the founder of the chief investment officer of Tallwoods Capital.

Schnall is putting his interest in the Atlanta Hawks up for sale. He is the co-president at Clayton Dubilier & Rice, a New York-based private equity firm.

Final Thoughts

The new ownership group will aim to turn the Hornets into a winning team. The Hornets have not made the playoffs since 2016 and have had a losing record in six of the last seven seasons, including 27-55 in 2022-23.

They have not reached the second round since 2002 and have never played in the conference finals.