News & OpinionWeekly News Roundup

5 Things to Know: Reports Say Michael Jordan Considering Sale of Hornets

...and four more stories from March 12-18, 2023

Michael Jordan speaks at a public event wearing a grey suit.
Michael Jordan is reportedly close to a deal to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Bryan Horowitz/Creative Commons)

Michael Jordan Reportedly Considering Sale of Hornets

An ESPN report on Thursday night claimed that Charlotte Hornets majority owner and NBA great Michael Jordan is considering selling his majority stake in the team to a group that includes one of the Hornets’ current minority owners. 

According to reporting by Adrian Wojnarowski, a deal that’s gained momentum in recent days would place Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, minority owners of the Hornets and Atlanta Hawks, respectively, at the top of the Charlotte Hornets organization as co-governors. 

Jordan is expected to keep a stake as minority owner with the Hornets if a deal is finalized. 

Michael Jordan paid $275 million for his stake in what was then the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010, eventually supporting the fan-led drive to bring back the team’s original moniker. He sold a significant minority stake to Plotkin in 2020, as well as Daniel Sundheim, who is said to also be a part of the group looking to buy the team. Both men are chief investment officers at large capital investment firms. 

It’s unclear just how much Michael Jordan would be willing to sell for, though it’s likely that it would be much larger than what he paid. The sale of the Phoenix Suns for $4 billion in January set an NBA record, just the latest in a trend of recent record-breaking sports franchise deals

Going into Friday night’s game against Philadelphia, the Hornets were 22-49, the fourth worst record in the league. It appears the team will be in the running for the No. 1 pick in a draft featuring the much-hyped sensation Victor Wembanyama.

Governor Signs Anti-Protest Bill into Law

Gov. Roy Cooper allowed House Bill 40 to become law on Friday, not attempting a veto as he successfully did in 2022, likely due to increased support from Democrats that would surely lead to an override vote. 

The bill increases felony penalties for certain existing offenses related to “rioting,” allowing prosecutors more leeway to lock up and financially punish folks participating in protests based on police accounts. The law was drawn up by House Speaker Tim Moore in response to protests that occurred in Charlotte and elsewhere during the summer of 2020 in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

Equality NC released a statement denouncing the new law on Friday, pointing out that it will disproportionately affect Black and brown communities and that it was introduced shortly after the police killing of Darryl Tyree Williams in Raleigh. 

“The bill is effectively a mass incarceration bill that will endanger Black, Brown and Indigenous lives,” the ENC release read. “The bill is designed to stifle protests for racial justice, using coded language to discredit these movements as ‘violent’ and re-frame protests as ‘rioting.'” 

“With police violence repeatedly targeting the Black community, it is vital that we have the right to protest injustices,” it continued. “We stand in solidarity with the communities most impacted by this bill and will continue to fight for Black liberation in North Carolina and beyond.”

Meanwhile, Queen City Nerve has been waiting for 885 days for CMPD to fulfill a request for public records regarding the planning and implementation of their own premeditated violent behavior during peaceful protests in Charlotte on June 2, 2020. No one in the department has been held accountable for that incident. 

Mecklenburg County Property Revaluations Released

Revaluation notices were mailed to more than 400,000 Mecklenburg County property owners on Friday as well as updated on the county’s website. Despite being the first revaluation since the county switched to doing such work over four-year periods rather than eight, property values still rose significantly, though that was expected. 

Put together, the county’s 400,477 parcels saw a 51% total increase in values — 58% for residential properties and 41% for commercial. As pointed out by the Charlotte Ledger on Twitter Friday, it should be noted that a percentage increase in property value does not directly equal a percentage increase in property tax. In fact, neither the city nor county has yet decided on a tax rate, so tax increases are yet to be determined. 

If you’re interested in the review and appeal process, an adjoining presentation released by the county’s tax assessor’s office on Friday lays that process out in detail. 

Suspect Named in Shanquella Robinson’s Killing

Mexican authorities have named a suspect in the death of Charlottean Shanquella Robinson, first reported on Oct. 29 in Cabo following a trip Robinson made there with friends.

According to Robinson’s family’s attorneys Ben Crump and Sue-Ann Robinson, Mexican law enforcement has named 26-year-old Daejhanae Jackson as a suspect in the case. She is currently wanted for questioning in Mexico.

A picture of Shanquella Robinson looking directly at her camera with her hair running down onto her chest
Shanquella Robinson was reported dead on Oct. 29.

The revelation was made in an 18-page letter from the Robinson family to Pres. Joe Biden, which also included autopsy results and previously undisclosed documents related to the investigation.

Family and friends have claimed Jackson is the one seen beating Robinson in footage recorded in Cabo during the trip but had not confirmed that she was the previously unnamed suspect wanted by Mexican police until this week. Not much is known about Jackson, whose last known address is reportedly in Jamestown, NC.

Standoff Ends Peacefully After 31 Hours

CMPD took a man into custody on Sunday afternoon following a standoff that lasted nearly 31 hours in the Steele Creek area of southwest Charlotte.

According to a release from the department, officers responded to a call about a man who was going through a mental health crisis threatening to kill his neighbors on Griers Fork Drive at around 6:46 a.m. on Saturday, March 11. Upon arrival, police learned that the man had a warrant out for his arrest but had barricaded himself in his home and had a handgun.

SWAT responded the scene at around 11 a.m. and took control of the situation. At around 5 p.m., a member of SWAT fired a shot at the suspect after he claimed to have perceived a direct threat from the man. No one was injured in the shooting. At around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the suspect finally surrendered to police and was taken in for mental health treatment. The department’s Homicide Unit will investigate the shooting by the SWAT officer for “any potential underlying crimes,” according to the release.

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