It seems Hornets owner and more meme than megastar these days, Micheal Jordan, is following in the footsteps of Drake and Scooter Braun. On Thursday, Jordan was announced as a new investor in aXiomatic, a big-time eSports ownership group and parent company to Team Liquid. A more bombastic eSports fan might call Team Liquid the Michael Jordan of eSports franchises, so the pairing feels right.
Jordan is already quite familiar with some of the aXiomatic board members, which include Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and Peter Guber, the less smarmy co-owner of the Warriors. Jordan knows Leonsis well, since he had a part ownership stake in the Wizards during his unfortunate return to action in the early aughts.
MJ's decision to buy in to the still-ripening eSports market makes financial sense but flies in the face of how he's looked at video games in the past. The Hornets were one of nine NBA franchises to demur at fielding a team for the new NBA 2K League. For the older fans of the gaming world, they might remember the annoying Horace Grant/John Paxson/Bill Cartwright triumvirate you could pair with Scottie Pippen on the Bulls for 1993's NBA Jam because Jordan—unlike the Players' Association—wouldn't lend his likeness to what is still one of the best basketball video games of all time.
Maybe he's had a change of heart, or it's a good way to diversify his portfolio. Others in the NBA have already jumped on the eSports train, including Steph Curry, Mark Cuban (one of the earliest adopters), and Shaq. Details of the investment amount were confidential.