Depicting Alex Rodriguez in front of the logo of the Minnesota Timberwolves
PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

A-Rod: The Unlikely Hero Poised to Rescue the Minnesota Timberwolves

It’s a new day in Minneapolis. Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are taking over the billion-dollar franchise from Glen Taylor.

When Adam Silver gave Donald Sterling the business and forced the Los Angeles Clippers owner’s long-overdue exit from the NBA, just about every basketball fan could celebrate a win. For Glen Taylor, however, that news came with different implications.

With no more Sterling kicking around, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ majority partner arguably became the most ineffective owner in the league. But after seven years of toil, two would-be heroes are riding into the Twin Cities to save the day.

Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore and, yes, that Alex Rodriguez.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they’re throwing down upwards of $1.5 billion to take the Wolves off Taylor’s hands.

With such a massive price tag, it’s more than safe to say that A-Rod won’t be the one fronting the bulk of the majority stake up front. Lore is worth over $1 billion and is the former President and CEO of US eCommerce at Walmart, after all. But the sheer weight of his presence in this imminent deal is undeniable.

As well as the weight the 14-time MLB All-Star will be lifting off the backs of Timberwolves fans.

Let’s face it, professional basketball in Minnesota hasn’t been such a happy topic over the years. The Wolves have made the playoffs exactly once in the past 16 years (!). They’ve made it out of the first round of the postseason just once in their entire history dating back to 1989-90. And in addition to the lack of wins, the Glen Taylor era is also notable for some other incredible lowlights, including:

  • Negotiating an illegal contract with Joe Smith that circumvented the salary cap, causing the NBA to strip the Wolves of three first-round draft picks
  • Drafting Ray Allen but trading him before he had a chance to play a single game with all-time franchise icon Kevin Garnett
  • Accusing Garnett of faking the severity of a leg injury at the end of the 2006-07 season
  • Drafting Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn directly in front of Steph Curry in 2009
  • Drafting Derrick Williams No. 2 overall in 2011 ahead of Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard

Sure, Taylor’s 1994 purchase of the team was perhaps the single biggest reason the Timberwolves never relocated to New Orleans, which was a trendy topic at the time. That’s a small consolation, however. His tenure has been as bad for basketball as it has been good for his own finances.

Taylor bought the team for $90 million. When the sale goes final, he’ll receive a return on investment that exceeds 1,600%.

As The Athletic’s John Krawczynski notes, the proposed deal includes a transition period of between two and three years, during which Lore and A-Rod will operate as minority stakeholders under Taylor. The full transition will be realized by 2023, at which point it will officially be a new day in Minneapolis.

When that point is finally reached, my advice to the people of the Twin Cities comes courtesy of local legend Prince Rogers Nelson:

Go crazy.