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article imageNBA: Michael Jordan buys the Charlotte Bobcats

By Michael Bearak     Feb 27, 2010 in Sports
It was a midnight hour deal, but Michael Jordan sealed the deal when it came to purchasing control of the NBA team in his home state, the Charlotte Bobcats.
The city of Chicago has probably always hoped for what transpired Friday. Their adopted son, Michael Jordan, became the owner of an NBA franchise, except instead of it being the Chicago Bulls as everyone in Chicago would have hoped for, it is in Michael Jordan's home state of North Carolina with the team he was already a partial owner of, the Charlotte Bobcats.
While details are have not been made available, it is confirmed that MJ Basketball Holdings LLC struck a deal with Bob Johnson to purchase control of the Bobcats. The agreement still needs to be approved by the other owners.
Jordan was able to bring coach Larry Brown to the team, and it was generally assumed that if Jordan had not become the owner that Brown would have left. There are a number of mountains that Jordan has to conquer if he is going to be a successful owner. Right now the team lacks a fan base, and loses millions of dollars every year.
Bob Johnson, founder of BET, poured $300 million into the purchase of the franchise and has lost $150 million in debt since the team began play in the 2004-2005 season. There is also a downtown arena that the city built in order to get another NBA team after the Hornets fled for New Orleans. The stadium has not turned a profit yet, much like the team that calls the arena home.
Jordan, grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina and hit the game winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship Game for the University of North Carolina and will turn 47 this year. He has made 7 trades since last season and that includes bringing Stephan Jackson to the team that has helped to bring the team into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Just the same he used the overall No. 3 draft pick in the 2006 draft to get former Gonzaga star, Adam Morrison who never panned out for the team.
Bob Johnson was in bidding negotiations with Michael Jordan, and former Houston Rockets executive, George Postolos, who also had a buyer group. Postolos said that Jordan had exclusive rights until right before mid-night Friday night.
Jordan submitted his bid at the last minute, to secure the purchase for his group. Still, that did not deter Postolos, "I remain committed to becoming an NBA owner, and I'm glad that Michael will continue to bring his talent to the sport and the league. He's very, very committed."
No one from either the Johnson or Jordan camps were available for comment or to discuss the sale/purchase.
More about Michael jordan, NBA, Basketball, Charlotte, North carolina
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