JTA — Basketball legend Michael Jordan has announced that he will sell his majority stake in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Jewish millionaires Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall for an estimated $3 billion.
Plotkin, whose net worth is estimated at $400 million, is the founder of investment management firm Melvin Capital, which he named after his grandfather and which had been valued at around $8 billion prior to announcing its closure last year.
The firm was involved in the GameStop short squeeze in 2021, which cost Plotkin’s and other firms billions of dollars. During testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Plotkin said he received antisemitic messages from members of the Reddit forum that tried to save the video game store by buying stock shares. Plotkin has been honored by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and previously worked with the Young Jewish Professionals networking group.
Plotkin acquired a minority stake in the Hornets in 2019, and he has served as an alternate governor of the NBA Board of Governors. As part of the deal, Jordan will retain a minority stake in the franchise.
Schnall, a co-president at a private equity firm, is currently a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. He has also been an alternate governor of the NBA Board of Governors and is in the process of selling his stake in the Hawks.
The sale comes just months after two other high-profile Jewish businessmen purchased professional sports teams: billionaire Mat Ishbia bought the NBA and WNBA teams in Phoenix, and Josh Harris is buying the NFL’s Washington Commanders from embattled Jewish owner Dan Snyder.
Jordan, widely considered the greatest basketball player ever, purchased the Hornets in 2010 for $275 million. He was the league’s only Black majority owner.