Timberwolves, Lynx “no longer for sale” after Marc Lore, Alex Rodriguez miss closing deadline, Glen Taylor says – CBS News

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MINNEAPOLIS — Owner Glen Taylor said Thursday the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx “are no longer for sale” after the deadline for buyers Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez passed without the sale closing.

A statement from the organization said the deadline for closing was Wednesday.

“Under certain circumstances, the buyer could have been entitled to a limited extension,” the statement read. “However, those circumstances did not occur.”

Taylor said he “will continue to work with Marc, Alex and the rest of the ownership group to ensure our teams have the necessary resources to compete at the highest levels on and off the court.”

Lore and Rodriguez, who already own a 40% stake in the team, issued a joint statement.

“We have fulfilled our obligations, have all necessary funding and are fully committed to closing our purchase of the team as soon as the NBA completes its approval process,” the partners said. “Glen Taylor’s statement is an unfortunate case of seller’s remorse that is short sighted and disruptive to the team and the fans during an historic winning season.”  

The deal with e-commerce billionaire Lore and MLB great Rodriguez was announced in 2021. The $1.5 billion agreement allowed Lore and Rodriguez to come on as minority partners before, eventually, purchasing a majority stake. That did not happen, according to Taylor’s statement.

As recently as January, Taylor was optimistic the sale would go through, if seemingly hesitant about handing the team over to its new owners.

“If you recall the way that this transaction was put together, they were going to make the payments over three years. So my expectations were, at that time, that they would take advantage of these two or three years to learn about running the club and see how I did things. If they wanted to change things or if they thought I was doing things that could be done better. I’m always open to suggestions,” Taylor told WCCO. “I think whatever they should have done, they’ve already done or haven’t done, and they better be prepared because it’s — they’re going to have the ownership in the next six months.”  

The collapse of the sale comes during the Wolves’ best season in two decades. The team hit 50 wins for the first time since 2003-2004, when Kevin Garnett led the team to the Western Conference finals. Led by a big three of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the team’s future is as bright as its ever been.

The Lynx, meanwhile, are in the early stages of a rebuild after losing much of the core that led them to multiple championships in the 2010s. Two All-Rookie draft picks and fourth-place finisher in the MVP race Napheesa Collier, though, brought them to a playoff appearance last season.

Taylor, a lifelong Minnesotan, purchased the team in 1994 for $88 million, doing so at the time in part to keep the franchise from relocating to New Orleans or elsewhere.  

Lore became Walmart’s e-commerce chief in 2016; Rodriguez is one of baseball’s all-time home run leaders and has become an investor in a variety of businesses since, plus is a trustee at the University of Miami.  

The most recent known payment by Lore and Rodriguez was a $290 million one, roughly 20% of the total purchase price, in March 2023.

Why did the sale fall through?

WCCO’s Mike Max spoke with Taylor Thursday morning to find out more about why he called off the sale.

“[Taylor] is at a point in his life where he’s having fun,” Max said. “He certainly does not need the money and this team this year is very good. So his theory is why not enjoy this ride?”

“Rodriguez and Lore never had a solid group of investors and I’ve been told by sources that neither of the two had any substantial investment of their own that they were going to make,” Max added. “That doesn’t play well with the NBA. [Rodriguez and Lore] were just the dealmakers in this, trying to put it together. On top of that, they were trying to partner with companies and the NBA likes investors to be individuals who are not looking for a short-term gain and can sustain a loss if a cash call comes or is needed.”

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