Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jordan takes control of Bobcats

Michael Jordan has become the first ex-player to become a majority owner of an NBA team

This was after the league's board of governors voted unanimously to approve his purchase of the Charlotte Bobcats.

The basketball legend's purchase of Bobcats Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Charlotte Bobcats, gives the 47-year-old a controlling interest in the companies that operate the Bobcats and the franchise's Time Warner Cable Arena home.

"Purchasing the Bobcats is the culmination of my post-playing career goal of becoming the majority owner of an NBA franchise," said Jordan after the vote today.

"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 organisation that Charlotte can be proud of, and I am committed to doing all that I can to achieve this goal."
Jordan, who is thought to be second only to Tiger Woods in sport's all-time personal fortune stakes, made his name as a shooting guard at the Chicago Bulls, where he won six NBA titles and was named the league's Most Valuable Player on five occasions.
Jordan has been a part-owner of the team since 2006 and has already been running basketball operations at the Bobcats.

Financial details have not been officially disclosed, but it is understood Jordan has splashed out US dollars 275million to secure a controlling interest.
Bob Johnson, who paid US dollars 300million for the expansion team that began play in the 2004-05 campaign, has transferred control of the franchise to Jordan after a six-year tenure as the majority owner of the NBA's 30th franchise.
Since entering the NBA, the Bobcats have accumulated debts of around US dollars 150 million.

Johnson said: "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.

"He has always been committed in his work to promote and develop the team and has extended his expertise to Bobcats Sports & Entertainment, including his recommendation that I hire Larry Brown as head coach.

"As the new majority owner of the Bobcats, his dedication will be stronger now more than ever.

"I am confident that Michael's leadership will bring success to the Bobcats whether it's measured by on the court performance, success as a business, or making a positive impact in the Charlotte community."

With 17 games remaining in the 2009-10 regular season, the Bobcats are currently pursuing their first play-off appearance.
NBA commissioner David Stern commented: "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."

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