In a poignant open letter to the fans and the city, Michael Jordan, the iconic basketball legend and six-time NBA champion, bid farewell to his role as the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
In June it was announced that Jordan had sold his majority stake in the team to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, with the transaction being approved by the NBA in July.
In his heartfelt letter, Jordan expressed his immense appreciation for the opportunity to own an NBA franchise in his home state of North Carolina, a dream come true for the basketball legend. He thanked the Hornets fans for their unwavering love and dedication to the team and himself over the past thirteen years.
“One of my earliest priorities was renewing our focus on supporting the needs of our diverse community, just as we ask the community to support our team. From hurricane and COVID-19 relief efforts to our community pillars of education, hunger, military and wellness, Hornets Sports & Entertainment has been at the forefront of supporting this region and our neighbors in times of need,” MJ letter reads.
While acknowledging the challenges and moments of adversity on the court, Jordan took pride in the accomplishments and milestones achieved by the organization during his tenure as the majority owner. Most notably, he cherished the unification of the Hornets name with its rightful home in Charlotte, uniting the history and passion of both the original Hornets and the Bobcats.
“I will never forget the excitement when we brought the Hornets name back to its rightful home in Charlotte, uniting the histories and fanbases of both the original Hornets and the Bobcats. Our fans told us how important this was, and the amazing level of support and enthusiasm proved their point.”
Beyond basketball, Jordan emphasized the organization’s focus on supporting the needs of the diverse community that rallied behind the team.
Throughout the letter, Jordan expressed gratitude to corporate partners, the city of Charlotte, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, and the team staff, players, and coaches, past and present, who have been instrumental in building the Hornets’ legacy.
While stepping away from the majority ownership role, Jordan affirmed that his love for basketball and the NBA remains unwavering.
“Although my love for the game of basketball and the NBA remain strong, now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and focus on my family, my personal interests and some new challenges.”
In closing, Jordan conveyed that this is not a goodbye but a heartfelt thank you, as North Carolina, Charlotte, and the Hornets will always hold a special place in his heart.