The NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, clearing the way to end Michael Jordan’s 13-year tenure as majority owner, sources told ESPN Sunday.
The BOG voted 29-1 in favor of the sale – with New York Knicks owner James Dolan the only one voting against, sources said.
The completed sale of the team — purchased at a valuation of around $3 billion — will be carried out over the next week or two, sources said.
Schnall, who was a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks, and Plotkin, a minority owner of the Hornets, become governors of the franchise. Jordan will retain a minority interest in the franchise.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP, is widely considered the greatest player in the history of the game and was the league’s only black majority owner. Jordan paid $275 million for a controlling interest in the franchise in 2010.
Earlier in 2020, Jordan sold a significant minority stake to Plotkin, founder and chief investment officer of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital. According to sources, Sundheim is part of the current group buying the Hornets.
Schnall, the co-president of New York-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, was part of a group (including majority owners Tony Ressler and Grant Hill) that bought the Atlanta Hawks for $850 million in 2015.
After a 27-55 season marred by injuries to most of the team’s top players, the Hornets selected Brandon Miller of Alabama as the No. 2 pick in the June NBA draft.