Charlotte Observer: Bob Johnson seeks buyer for Bobcats

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This article just came out this morning. Not sure Charlotte was the best place to put another NBA team based on fan support. The article says Johnson spent$330 million to start the Bobcats, which is now worth $284 million, good for 29th out of 30 in the NBA (word to Milwaukee).
Johnson told Observer columnist Scott Fowler last month that he'd like to sell controlling interest to minority owner Michael Jordan, theformer NBA star who oversees the team's basketball operations. Since then, according to multiple NBA sources, Johnson has begun looking for other potentialbuyers.

Jordan wasn't available for comment Thursday. An NBA spokesman confirmed that the league is aware Johnson is seeking investors and that Galatioto isassisting him.

It's unlikely a change in ownership would result in the team leaving Charlotte. The team's arena-lease with the city calls forsevere financial penalties should the team move out of Time Warner Cable Arena. Also the NBA would have to approve a move, and few cities without teams have anNBA-quality arena.

However, Charlotte has had a tepid response to the Bobcats. This past season their average home attendance was 14,526, 26th among 30 NBAteams.

Linky
 
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I never understood why they put an NBA team back in Charlotte just after the Hornets moved. I'm not knocking on the city or anything but there's someareas that they could have put an NBA team in that don't have one yet.
 
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the downfall of the hornets was George Shinn greedy #%# fault.....seriously....dude wouldnt give alonzo morning that contract and traded him and then gaveLarry Johnson the deal
.....fans got pissed and stopped showing up....cause Charlotte was up there in attendance back in the day....and Bobcats attendanceimproved towards the 2nd half of the season
 
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jordan has the money to buy the bobcats...i think he should change the name to the charlotte air or the charlotte jordans and have his logo
 
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Somebody from Seattle needs to step up and buy them, then pull a Bennett Ver. 2.0 on the NBA and see how that goes. I bet it wouldn't be the same result.
 
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YO!
Not sure Charlotte was the best place to put another NBA team based on fan support.


Come on, Jason. I thought you'd know better...


And those of you outside of the area or anyone who didn't follow sports business wouldn't understand the situation.

- Fan attendance WAS NOT the reason the Hornets left.
- The Board of Governors should have NEVER approved the Hornets' move to New Orleans. Shinn and Woolridge should've been forced out (as originallyattempted).
- Expansion WAS a horrible decision; however Charlotte was (is) still more deserving a city than Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Roanoke. (The other three citiesthat attempted to acquire the Hornets)
- The Bobcats' issue is no longer in fan support, which it once was. It is the business of the franchise.
- Bob Johnson, though a successful businessman, is not a good Sports Franchise owner (obviously).
- He never has quite understood the fans of this region, nor has anyone in his first cast of executives or in this current crew (save formaybe Michael Jordan).

I could go on, but why?



I hope this franchise is sold FAST. I wouldn't mind Michael being majority owner - but I don't believe he has that kind of finanical power either. Froma marketing standpoint, Michael should be the face of the franchise (for now). He and Jordan Brand could damn near own Charlotte. At least once football seasonis over since the NFL has pretty much made all other leagues their *****.

Anyone got ESPN Insider? I'd like to read the entire article about this.

DF!!!
 
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Originally Posted by LifeLessons

hope they dont move
they better not



I don't know if Jordan could really help the franchise either
(from a operations standpoint anyway)
they're only a few players away from a 7 or 8 seed imo


if they don't do something soon Wallace needs to ask for a trade
 
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Anyone got ESPN Insider? I'd like to read the entire article about this.


1. The Bobcats are for sale, and that has to be good news for their fans. The odds for the team to relocate are miniscule, as Charlotte has a new arena and a solid market, not to mention the fairly harsh penalties for departing. But whoever takes over is almost certain to operate the team more competently than Robert Johnson did.

Johnson's tenure was so bad that on Friday a Charlotte columnist was longing for the George Shinn days. Presumably the new guy won't let Michael Jordan run the team from the 12th green or shut out the local TV audience, and he might even be encouraged to spend some money on players.

And here's a thought: Would they keep the name? Johnson called the team "Bobcats" after himself, but is there any point in naming the team after the owner when his tenure bordered on cat-astrophic? Isn't that why things in this country aren't named after Warren G. Harding or Andrew Johnson?
 
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YO! ^ Damn... that's it?


If Jordan ran the basketball operations from Charlotte... and Bob ran the team from Charlotte (as opposed to DC), we'd be better off. DF!!!
 
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Originally Posted by AirAnt23

YO! ^ Damn... that's it?


If Jordan ran the basketball operations from Charlotte... and Bob ran the team from Charlotte (as opposed to DC), we'd be better off. DF!!!
I actually think you should run the team. Honest opinion.


If not all of NT should pitch in the buy the team.
 
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YO! I'd give it a go. When the Hornets moved it became my "dream" to be the man to bring the NBA back to Charlotte. I always figured I'd have25 years - that's how long it took New Orleans. But this jerk gets the team and doesn't know what the hell he's doing.


DF!!!
 
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Jordan will get in on that. He'll probably get Tiger or even Oprah to get in on it as well like he tried to do with the Milwaukee Bucks a few years back.
 
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[h2]Jordan tipped as possible buyer[/h2]

Comment Email Print Associated Press


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After losing tens of millions of dollars, the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team is exploring selling the Charlotte Bobcats.

Bob Johnson's decision could pave the way for minority investor Michael Jordan to take control of the team -- if he's willing to meet Johnson's price.

The NBA confirmed Friday that Johnson is using a New York-based sports financial services firm to seek additional investors. Jordan said in February that he'd be interested in someday getting majority control of the team.

Johnson and Jordan did not immediately respond to requests for interviews on Friday through team spokesmen.

The Charlotte Observer first reported Thursday that Johnson is using Galatioto Sports Partners to help with a potential sale. The firm, which Johnson used to assemble his initial group of minority investors, includes former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik.

"We are aware that Bob Johnson is looking for additional investors, and has retained Galatioto to assist that effort," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

Johnson's ownership of the team has been rocky since he paid the NBA $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2003, just over a year after the Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans.

The founder of Black Entertainment Television hasn't come close to turning a profit because of poor attendance, lagging sponsorship sales and a failed attempt to start a regional sports television network.

Johnson could find a buyer in Jordan, who bought a minority stake in the team in 2006. Johnson then gave Jordan total control of the basketball operations.

In February, Jordan said he'd like to increase his stake in the team.

"My interest to grow as an investor is still strong," said Jordan, who was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last month. "Purchasing the whole team I don't think that's an option right now. But if parts of the team become available, financially, if I can afford it, I'd definitely like to grow my investment."

Finding an agreeable price may not be easy. Forbes magazine recently valued the team at $284 million, less than Johnson's expansion fee. The team plays in a city hard hit by the financial crisis, and the credit crunch could hurt any deal of that magnitude.

However, the team also keeps all profits from the downtown Charlotte arena it operates and the Bobcats have improved on the court. Jordan hired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown last year and he guided the Bobcats to a 35-47 record, the best in the franchise's five seasons.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
 
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is MJ still rich because of the money kids spend on Jordans

getting that team would mean hes gonna be losing millions each year
 
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It's unlikely a change in ownership would result in the team leaving Charlotte. The team's arena-lease with the city calls for severe financial penalties should the team move out of Time Warner Cable Arena. Also the NBA would have to approve a move, and few cities without teams have an NBA-quality arena.

Apparently, it's the Charlotte Observer's job to baby the fans, reassuring them "Don't worry, everything's going to bejust fine! You'll see. Just keep supporting the team ('cause boy does this city need the money). It's okay, everyone. There's no way thisawful franchise could ever possibly leave you."

Regardless of supposed current fan support, Charlotte was Hornets territory. And contrary to popular sentiment, Charlotte should not have the Bobcats. Theyshould still have the Hornets.

George Shinn DID kill professional basketball in Charlotte in a way. Bobcats basketball will NEVER reach the interest level the Hornets had, especially from'91-'93. Ant is right: Shinn and Ray Wooldridge were the problem. David Stern did nothing to stop the Hornets from moving. Charlotte Coliseum wasjust fine; it was only 14 years old when they left. This wasn't about the Coliseum or a new building for revenues, it was about Shinn rubbing fans thewrong way with his disrespectful financial moves and then having the nerve to twist the knife in their back by seeking a new arena on the dime of these veryfans who'd already quit on him, because of him.

Bob Johnson's awarding of the expansion was more about public relations regarding the scorned fanbase and setting precedence than actual sound business orbasketball sense.

(And who's tacky enough to name a team after themselves? And it's not even creative. I remember reading a quote from him saying something to theeffect that if you spend that much money on something, you should be able to name it whatever you want. Right, that's true, and there were a million coolnames that you could've picked. Who wouldn't like to do that? But you picked "Bobcats". Congrats, you made 10-year-olds happy nationwide.)
 
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