Unless you’ve been interned under a large boulder, you’ve seen in at least a passing capacity the recent, widespread story of a hoard of Reddit users buying up droves of stock in GameStop, AMC and other companies in an attempt to counter-punch — and profit off of — prominent hedge funds strategically short-selling stocks.
As it turns out, there are a number of NBA ties at the center of this storm. TrueHoop’s Tom Haberstroh laid them out in a reported piece here and radio interview with Dan Le Betard here, both of which are worth delving into.
The most eye-popping name potentially connected? That’s right: Michael Jordan.
In 2019, Jordan, the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, sold a stake in the team to Gabe Plotkin, founder and Chief Investment Officer of Melvin Capital, a hedge fund which has reportedly required an infusion of almost $3 billion after likely incurring massive losses as a result of the retail investors’ short-squeeze.
The terms of that sale aren’t publicly known. Neither is the exact nature of Jordan and Plotkin’s current business relationship. But here’s what Jordan said in a statement announcing the transaction in September 2019:
I’m excited to welcome Gabe (Plotkin) and Dan (Sundheim, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of D1 Capital) as my partners in Hornets Sports & Entertainment. While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team’s NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology and strive to compete with the best in the NBA. Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.
Michael Jordan, September 2019
Time will tell if any of these tenuous links run deeper. By all accounts, this story is still unfurling.
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