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Stern mum on MJ as Bobcats buyer

DALLAS -- NBA commissioner David Stern expects the Charlotte Bobcats to be sold within 60 days. He's just not ready to say if Michael Jordan will be the buyer.

At his midseason news conference Saturday night at All-Star weekend, Stern seemed certain that owner Bob Johnson will unload the money-losing franchise soon.

Jordan, a minority investor in the team, has run the Bobcats' basketball operations since 2006 and has the right of first refusal on any sale. But it's unclear if the Hall of Famer has an ownership group in place or will agree with Johnson on a price.

"I like the increased level of Michael's involvement and if Michael were to be a buyer that would be a good thing," Stern said.

But it's far from certain. Former Houston Rockets executive George Postolos has also made inquiries on the Bobcats, and it's possible a new ownership group would not include Jordan running the team.

The Associated Press left messages with Postolos and representatives for Jordan and Johnson seeking comment.

Johnson, the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team, paid $300 million for the expansion franchise, which began play in the 2004-05 season. The Bobcats have struggled to sell tickets and sponsorships and Johnson has lost millions of dollars.

Jordan has a unique relationship with the Bobcats. As a part-owner, he's not a team employee and the Bobcats have a general manager in Rod Higgins. All basketball decisions must be cleared by Jordan, but he is rarely seen at practices or games.

Jordan has said that he'd be interested in buying the club outright from Johnson, and Stern said a decision on a sale is imminent.

"I think that might happen sooner rather than later," Stern said, "within the next 60 days or so."