WILMINGTON - The basketball career that started in a New Hanover County driveway and went all the way to the Basketball Hall of Fame now moves to the owners box. The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved Michael Jordan's bid to buy a controlling interest in the Charlotte Bobcats. He had been part-owner of the Bobcats with final say in all basketball decisions since 2006.
NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement Wednesday that he was pleased the $275 million purchase was "closed in such a smooth and expeditious fashion."
Jordan grew up on Gordon Road and starred at Laney High School before moving on to the University of North Carolina and a legendary career in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. During his time in management with the Wizards and Bobcats, Jordan has brought the teams to Wilmington for pre-season training camp.
Jordan is the sole investor in the ownership group, but he's expected to try to find local partners. The deal includes taking on more than $150 million in debt, covering future losses and putting forward capital to make improvements. The franchise is expected to lose about $30 million this season.
Jordan has said he would not comment until he is approved as an owner. The Bobcats have scheduled a press conference for 5:30 p.m. Thursday.