The sale of a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets from six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall has been completed, the team announced on Thursday.
The Hornets planned to introduce Plotkin and Schnall at a press conference later in the day.
Jordan, who has owned the team for 13 years, said in a press release that owning the Hornets was a “huge honor” but gave no explanation as to why he was selling the franchise.
He remains as a minority owner.
“I’m proud of everything the organization has accomplished: the exciting moments on the court, the return of the Hornets name, Charlotte hosting the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and HSE (Hornets Sports and Entertainment) becoming a real mainstay this community.” Jordan said. “Over the years, the unwavering commitment, passion and loyalty of our Hornets fans has been incredible. As I transition into a minority ownership role, I am delighted to hand over the reins to two successful, innovative and strategic leaders, Gabe and Rick.”
Jordan added, “I know the Hornets organization is in good hands going forward. I am excited about the future of the team and will continue to support the organization and community in my new role for years to come.”
The Hornets have never won a playoff series under Jordan and have not been in the postseason, the longest losing streak in the NBA, in the past seven seasons.
“We would like to thank Michael for this opportunity and his support throughout the process,” Plotkin and Schnall said in a joint statement. “During his tenure, he has brought stability to the Hornets franchise, achieved many business milestones, strengthened ties with and reinvested in the Charlotte community, and positioned the organization for greater success. We look forward to building on this success in the years to come.”
They said their vision is to take the Hornets to the “next level” on and off the court.
“We will seek to build a highly competitive basketball team, develop innovative business practices, give back to our community and connect with our fans,” said the new owners. “We plan to continue investing in the team, facilities and fan experience with the goal of delivering a winner to our fans in the Carolinas. We are confident that our successful business background and previous experience as an NBA minority owner will be beneficial as we shape the future of the franchise as a world-class organization.”
Plotkin and Schnall will serve as co-chairs of HSE, rotating the team’s governorships every five years, beginning with Schnall.
Schnall is a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks and has also served as an associate governor on the NBA Board of Governors since 2015. He was involved in various aspects of the Hawks’ team-building process, as well as the State Farm Arena renovations. He is Co-President of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC, where he has worked for 27 years.
Plotkin will serve as co-chair and deputy governor. He originally acquired a minority stake in the Hornets in 2019. He has served as Deputy Governor on the NBA Board of Governors since 2019. He is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Tallwoods Capital LLC.
The Hornets’ new ownership group also includes Chris Shumway, Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, Andrew Schwartzberg, Dyal Home Court Partners, North Carolina artist J. Cole and country singer-songwriter Eric Church, as well as several local Charlotte investors, including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills, among others.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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