SBD/Issue 194/Franchises

Jordan Says He Is Interested In Owning 'Cats; Nets Eye Investors

Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations Michael Jordan said that he “wants to be involved in any ownership group that would have controlling interest in the team,” according to Richard Walker of the GASTON GAZETTE. Jordan Thursday night made his first public comments about owning the team since reports surfaced last month that Bobcats Owner Bob Johnson was looking to sell the franchise. Jordan was “clear in what he hoped would be his future role.” Jordan: “I would like to put together a team to do that.” Jordan, who bought a minority stake in the team in June ’06, has “consistently stated he’d like to one day have controlling interest of the team.” Jordan has had controlling interest of basketball operations since he became a minority owner (GASTON GAZETTE, 6/26).

Prokhorov Heads Group
Interested In Nets Investment
CASTING A WIDE NET: SI.com's Ian Thomsen cites an NBA source as saying that "four groups are positioned to invest in the Nets." Two other NBA sources said that Nets investor Vincent Viola is "moving to buy out" Nets Owner Bruce Ratner and "take control of the franchise." One of the sources named Viola as "one of four potential suitors, while adding that Ratner may remain involved with the Nets and could even retain majority status." The source: "It's all up to negotiation." The source emphasized that "all of the interest is based on the promise of the Nets' long-anticipated move from New Jersey to Brooklyn." Thomsen notes the "most intriguing group of potential new investors is headed by Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who until this season was the financier of the Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow." One source "predicts that Prokhorov would survive the league's vetting process as a potential owner." Another "potential investment group is headed by hedge-fund managers, while the fourth is drawn from the private equity field." The potential sale of the team "helps to explain the big move they made on draft day." The team Thursday "unloaded Vince Carter's remaining three years" and $51M contract to the Magic "in exchange for three players, among whom only Courtney Lee will remain on the Nets' payroll in 2010-11 at a low rookie-scale salary" of $1.4M (SI.com, 6/26).

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