SBD/10/Franchises

STAKE IN HORNETS BACK ON BLOCK AS JORDAN ENDS TALKS W/SHINN

          After Michael Jordan pulled out of negotiations with
     Hornets Owner George Shinn over an ownership stake in the
     team, Shinn issued a statement saying that he has "received
     numerous inquiries from others who are interested in the
     possibility of a partnership in the Hornets."  Shinn added
     that he plans to "review those opportunities and proceed
     accordingly" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/8).  On Friday, Jordan
     told the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER why talks broke down with Shinn. 
     Jordan: "We could have agreed to a 50-50 split.  But
     ultimately my decisions had to be it. ... It wasn't about
     money.  I offered to buy him out.  It was about control and
     we never were able to get that resolved."  Jordan said that
     "there was a possibility" that talks could resume, but "only
     if the control issue were resolved, and if talks resumed
     quickly."  Jordan: "I'd be open if [Shinn] called tomorrow
     morning and said, `Hey, I've made a terrible mistake, let's
     talk.'  It's up to George.  I could not accept a situation
     where I could not (have a final say)."   Afterward, a source
     said, "Shinn doesn't deserve to take the fall on this one. 
     He wanted Michael involved.  But no one in their right mind
     would sell 50 percent of a business and have no decisions." 
     Sources said that "at least two other groups" are interested
     in buying part of the team (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/8).  
          COULD TALKS RESURFACE? In Chicago, John Jackson cited
     NBA sources as saying "there is a chance" that Shinn might
     "reconsider" Jordan's offer to buy 100% of the team "if the
     outside pressures on him continue and intensify" (SUN-TIMES,
     5/9).  Also in Chicago, Lacy Banks writes that Jordan has
     the leverage: "Let's face it: Shinn and the league need
     Jordan more than he needs them" (SUN-TIMES, 5/10).  
          REAX: In Charlotte, Ron Green wrote that you can't
     blame Shinn for the failed deal because Jordan's "demands
     were so outrageous, it's difficult to believe he was serious
     about buying half of the team."  Green called Shinn's
     refusal to meet Jordan's demands "noble" (CHARLOTTE
     OBSERVER, 5/9).  Also in Charlotte, Tom Sorensen wrote that
     Shinn chose power over a Jordan deal because the Hornets are
     his "identity."  Sorensen: "The Hornets are much more than a
     business to Shinn.  They are his connection to the big time,
     his only connection" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/8).  
          THE WIZARDS KING? David Falk said that he "doesn't
     know" if his client has thought about buying the Wizards
     since he "has spent all of his recent time trying to make a
     deal for the Hornets" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/8).
          A NEW PARADIGM? In Chicago, Bernie Lincicome writes on
     today's pro athletes seeking ownership interests in teams. 
     He calls Jordan's effort to buy a stake in the Hornets "not
     so much a corporate takeover as celebrity extortion. ...
     Things have gotten so very askew that when somebody finally
     says no to Jordan, it is Jordan who gets all the
     commiseration.  Poor Michael.  If he wants his own NBA team,
     why shouldn't he have one?" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/10).  

Return to top

Related Topics:

Franchises, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug