Former Charlotte Hornets Owner Admits He Regrets Selling His Franchise To Michael Jordan
By Ishaan Bhattacharya,
Former Hornets owner Bob Johnson admitted that selling the franchise was one of his big regrets.
Michael Jordan may be the first NBA player to ever become a billionaire, but it wasn't just his incredible skill on the court that enabled that. His incredible business sense saw him leverage his marketability and become the founder of a billion-dollar brand under Nike that bears his iconic silhouette and name.
Along with that, Jordan became the majority owner of an NBA team in 2010, the Charlotte Hornets , out of his love for the game and state, where he became a basketball star in college. His love justified the move, but 13 years later, the value of an NBA franchise is much higher. The Hornets are valued at $1.7 billion now, compared to MJ buying the franchise for $175 million.
The value change has really stung previous owner Bob Johnson, who revealed he regretted selling the team but maintained that if he was to sell the team at any point, it would always be to MJ.
"Definitely, regrets, I tell Michael about that all the time. Nobody could have predicted what Don Sterling said about Black people. That led to the NBA Commissioner to say 'we've got a huge racial problem if we keep Don Sterling as an owner'. basically forcing Don Sterling out. Being forced out for $2 billion, lot of people would like to be forced out at that price."
"Michael was always my first choice to sell the team. He and I have been friends, you know, 10-15 years before I even owned the team. If anybody I wanted to sell the team, if I was forced to sell, it would be to Michael."
Jordan's tenure as the owner hasn't resulted in success on the hardwood. The Hornets are headed for another season in the pits of the lottery but are optimistic about the future with point guard LaMelo Ball and the chance to possibly draft Victor Wembanyama .
Will Michael Jordan's Luck As An Owner Change?
The Hornets seemed to take a step forward last season and were primed to build on it this year. However, a whole host of legal issues with various players of the team led to a tough summer, which saw them let go of 20-point scorer Miles Bridges in free agency due to his appalling domestic violence case.
With this year's draft hosting many sensational and possibly generational prospects, the tanking could lead to incredible success for the Hornets. It'll come at the right time, as MJ can finally surround his point guard with the talent to become a regular playoff team and even contend for a title.
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