NBA

Jordan's bid to buy Bobcats approved

Share This Story

   
 

NEW YORK (AP)

Michael Jordan became a basketball star at North Carolina. Now he'll try to turn around the state's money-losing NBA team by becoming the first ex-player to be a majority owner in the league.

The NBA's Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved Jordan's $275 million bid to buy the Charlotte Bobcats from Bob Johnson. Jordan will take over the team immediately after serving as a minority investor with the final say on basketball decisions since 2006.

"Purchasing the Bobcats is the culmination of my post-playing career goal of becoming the majority owner of an NBA franchise," Jordan said in a statement. "I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to build a winning team in my home state of North Carolina.

"I plan to make this franchise an organization that Charlotte can be proud of, and I am committed to doing all that I can to achieve this goal."

The six-time NBA champion and five-time league MVP will be charged with turning around the fortunes of the 6-year-old Bobcats, who are on pace to lose about $30 million this season because of sluggish ticket and sponsorship sales.

The 47-year-old Jordan, who will assume about $150 million in debt in the deal, becomes the second black majority owner of a major pro sports team. He replaces the first in Johnson, who paid $300 million for the expansion franchise, but lost tens of millions annually and saw the value of the team decline as Charlotte fans struggled to warm to the NBA again after the Hornets left for New Orleans in 2002.

"The best decision I made since acquiring the Bobcats was to convince my friend Michael to become an investor in the Bobcats and to appoint him as managing member of basketball operations," Johnson said in a statement. "As the new majority owner of the Bobcats, his dedication will be stronger now more than ever."

Commissioner David Stern predicted last week the deal would be approved easily by the league's owners. Stern said last week that background and financial checks on Jordan produced nothing that would stop the deal, and expressed optimism Jordan's iconic status in this area will boost the franchise.

Jordan grew up in Wilmington, N.C., and led North Carolina to an NCAA title with a last-second shot before starring with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan briefly ran the Wizards basketball operations and returned as a player with Washington before being fired from his management role in 2003.

"We are pleased that Michael Jordan's purchase of majority ownership of the Bobcats was approved by the NBA's Board of Governors and closed in such a smooth and expeditious fashion," Stern said. "We look forward to the continued growth of the Bobcats, on and off the court, under his leadership."

The Bobcats (34-32) entered Wednesday's home game against Oklahoma City in sixth place in the Eastern Conference as they eye their first playoff berth. Team officials hope a playoff appearance after Jordan took control would boost interest and ticket sales in the franchise, which plays in a 5-year-old downtown arena.

"While there is still plenty of work to do both on and off the floor, our attendance, television ratings, corporate support and on-court performance are headed in the right direction," Bobcats president Fred Whitfield said. "That trend will only continue as Michael transitions into all facets of our business."

Jordan, who has declined interview requests since striking a deal to buy the team on Feb. 26, is scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday night.
Tagged: Hornets

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..