With minutes to go until his exclusive negotiating window was to expire, Jordan struck a deal late Friday night to buy controlling interest of the Charlotte Bobcats, putting the six-time NBA champion in charge of the money-losing team in his home state.
Owner Bob Johnson announced in a statement that he's agreed to sell the Bobcats to Jordan, who been a part-owner of since 2006. Jordan has been running the team's basketball operations.
The purchase price and details of Jordan's ownership group - called MJ Basketball Holdings LLC
- weren't immediately available. A spokeswoman for Johnson and a spokesman for Jordan said neither man was available for comment early Saturday.
The league's owners must still approve the purchase.
Jordan was in competition with former Houston Rockets executive George Postolos, who also had an ownership group together to buy the team. But Postolos said Jordan had the exclusive right to buy the club until just before midnight Friday night.
Jordan hit another last-second shot - reaching a deal minutes before the deadline.
"I remain committed to becoming an NBA owner, and I'm glad that Michael will continue to bring his talent to the sport and the league," Postolos said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "He's very, very committed."
It will end Johnson's stint as the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team. Jordan becomes another black owner in another milestone for the Hall of Famer, but one that comes with many challenges.
Jordan, a five-time NBA MVP and 14-time All-Star, has made millions lending his name to sneakers, apparel and other items. Now he'll begin a completely different role, trying to make the Bobcats a winner, and the franchise and Charlotte's downtown arena profitable.
After paying $300 million for the expansion team that began play in 2004-05, Johnson has accumulated about $150 million in debt and the team is expected to lose tens of millions this season as they struggle to draw fans and find sponsorships.