CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The sale of the majority stake of the Charlotte Hornets from six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall has been finalized, and the two had a warm welcome to the Queen City on Thursday.
Plotkin has been a Hornets minority stakeholder for five years, while Schnall has held a minority stake in the Atlanta Hawks since 2015.
“I do not play basketball like Michael Jordan, but we share the passion for basketball,” Schnall joked.
While fresh to Charlotte, both have high hopes for the franchise.
“We think that there has been a lot of growth here, and the city is really booming,” Plotkin said. “We think, ultimately, this is a top 10, 15 franchise in the NBA in terms of attractiveness.”
Charlotte hasn’t won a playoff series since 2002 and has never won an NBA Championship; however, the co-chairs admitted winning doesn’t happen overnight.
The two have promised to invest in player development, recruitment, and the facility.
“This facility is going to be dramatically different two years from now, three years from now,” Schnall said. “It will feel different. It will be a great experience for fans.”
One fan, in particular, has joined the new ownership group.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” said North Carolina native and country singer-songwriter Eric Church.
Church went from performing in the Spectrum Center to helping run the team that plays in it, as he now holds a minority stake.
“They were looking for some people that love basketball and had a shared sense of community, which I think is really important,” Church said. “That’s what I am at least trying to bring to this.”