Hornets sale officially approved despite sole vote against Knicks owner James Dolan, report says

The Charlotte Hornets' new logo is displayed on a video monitor during a halftime ceremony at an NBA basketball game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Utah Jazz in Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The Bobcats will change their name to the Hornets next season.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
It looks like Michael Jordan has officially sold the Charlotte Hornets. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Michael Jordan’s time as majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets appears to be officially over, now that the NBA Board of Governors would have approved the sale of the organization to a group led by Rick Schnall and minority Hornets owner Gabe Plotkin.

The vote to end six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan’s 13-year term as majority owner was 29 to 1, with New York Knicks owner James Dolan the sole opponent, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The purchase, valued at around $3 billion, will be finalized in one to a few weeks, according to Wojnarowski’s report.

Jordan reached an agreement to sell to Plotkin and Schnall last month, according to a team announcement. Rapper J. Cole and country music singer-songwriter Eric Church are also part of the new ownership group.

Schnall is co-chairman of the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in New York. He was part of a group that bought the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 for $850 million.

Daniel Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, bought part of the team from Jordan in 2020. He is also part of the new ownership group, according to the report.

Jordan became the league’s only black majority owner when he paid $275 million for a majority stake in the team in 2010. He will still retain a minority stake in the organization and possibly some influence, as the team reportedly deferred to its judgment in selecting Brandon Miller of Alabama with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, which came after the team’s deal was announced.

It’s unclear why Dolan, 68, would vote against the sale. The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation chief executive recently made headlines for defending the controversial use of facial recognition in its theaters in February.

The New York Attorney General even wrote a letter against the practice, which was used to identify and remove people associated with litigation against Madison Square Garden.

Larry Hutcher, season ticket holder and attorney for the Knicks, was banned from entering all MSG-owned sites because of his business representing dealers in a lawsuit against the company.

Dolan is “notorious for being mean-spirited,” Hutcher said after receiving a ban notice in the mail.

With the sale completed despite Dolan voting against it, the Hornets will continue their efforts to improve on their 27-55 record from last season.

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