Renowned rapper J. Cole has officially joined the ranks of NBA team owners as he becomes a part-owner of the Charlotte Hornets. This news comes in the wake of Michael Jordan’s decision to sell his majority stake in the team. The Hornets released a statement on June 16th, revealing that J. Cole is now a member of The Buyer Group, led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, alongside country singer Eric Church. The group reportedly acquired the franchise from Jordan for a staggering $3 billion, a significant increase from the $275 million he initially paid for the team in 2010.
J. Cole is a part of the ownership group set to purchase The Hornets 🔥🏀— J. Cole (@Jcolevillle) June 16, 2023
Michael Jordan will retain a minority stake in the Hornets and will continue overseeing the Hornets’ operations as its owner and chairman until at least July 1. J. Cole’s entrance into the ownership group marks an exciting development for the team and the rapper’s home state of North Carolina. ESPN reports that the deal is pending approval from the NBA Board of Governors, but it is expected to be finalized in the coming days. J. Cole has long been a dedicated supporter of the Hornets, frequently seen courtside at their games.
The Buyer Group’s leadership is comprised of individuals with prior experience in the sports industry. Rick Schnall was previously a minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks, while Gabe Plotkin already held a minority stake within the Hornets organization. Joining forces, they aim to revitalize the franchise and bring renewed energy and enthusiasm to the team.
J. Cole’s involvement in basketball extends beyond being a fan and owner. He has actively participated in professional leagues in Canada and Africa, showcasing his love for the game and serving as an ambassador. The 38-year-old artist has left a mark on the sport, becoming the first rapper to grace the cover of NBA 2K and playing a pivotal role in helping Caleb Martin secure a contract with the Miami Heat, contributing to their NBA Finals run.
The Hornets are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 27-55 season, and the arrival of J. Cole and the new ownership group presents an opportunity for a fresh start. Their aim is to not only improve the team’s performance on the court but also reshape its image. Currently holding the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, the Hornets have sparked speculation as they negotiate for a possible trade involving New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson, who has recently been involved in controversy.
In the realm of ownership transitions, this move by J. Cole and The Buyer Group marks a significant milestone for the Charlotte Hornets and the rapper himself. As a native of North Carolina and a lifelong supporter of the team, J. Cole’s role as part-owner carries sentimental value and further solidifies his connection to the sport. Beyond his accomplishments in music, J. Cole continues to make waves in the realms of sports and entertainment, adding “part owner of an NBA team” to his already impressive list of achievements.