Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., joins an ownership group that includes former NBA player and executive M.L. Carr; Felix Sabates, owner of NASCAR racing teams, and Hugh McColl Jr., former CEO of Bank of America.

``Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life, being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements,'' Nelly said in a release issued by the Bobcats. ``To be able to make this move with Bob Johnson and to be a part of the first-ever minority owned professional sports franchise in history is a great opportunity.

``Bob and I share the same commitment to diversity and we are both self-made, having worked up from the very bottom to reach where we are today.''

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