Taylor to sell T-wolves to group that includes baseball legend A-Rod

FILE - In this July 11, 2017, file photo, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez reports from the field during the MLB baseball All-Star Game in Miami. Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent to buy the Timberwolves and keep
FILE - In this July 11, 2017, file photo, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez reports from the field during the MLB baseball All-Star Game in Miami. Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent to buy the Timberwolves and keep

Deal also includes the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.

Posted: Apr 11, 2021 9:52 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore signed a letter of intent Saturday to buy the Timberwolves and keep the NBA team in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor said.

The agreement, which also includes the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, opens a 30-day window for negotiations to be finalized. If accountants and attorneys for both sides agree, the deal would then need to be approved by the league.

The Athletic first reported the $1.5 billion sale.

Under the conditions of the deal, Taylor would keep control of the club for the next two years and bring on Rodriguez and Lore as partners until a handover in 2023. In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Taylor said their connection went “terrifically well” and that he was “happy” and excited" about what's to come.

“They’ve asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made,” Taylor said. “I would enjoy that. I love teaching people. These are a couple of very bright guys, and I think it could be helpful to the club and I think I could be helpful to them so that they feel confident once they take over 100%.”

Taylor, who put the teams on the market last year, said he was first approached by Rodriguez and Lore a week ago. The pair traveled to meet Taylor and his wife at their winter home in Naples, Florida. Taylor, who turns 80 on April 20, has spoken with numerous suitors over the years but taken a deliberate approach to finding a buyer he's comfortable with. He said he's done that with Rodriguez and Lore.

“I was concerned if I got ill or something happened to me what would happen to the club. This gives me a path that I know it’s going to happen. I feel confident that they’ll take care of the franchise and move it ahead,” Taylor said.

Throughout the sale process, he told interested parties that keeping the franchises in town was a prerequisite for purchase.

“There was no use talking to them if they didn’t agree to that,” Taylor said.

The Timberwolves, who entered the league in 1989 as an expansion club, were on their way to New Orleans in 1994 before Taylor, a lifelong Minnesotan who built his fortune from a small commercial printing business, bought the team for $88 million.

As part of the renovations at Target Center that were initiated in 2016, the team’s lease with the city of Minneapolis carries a $50 million penalty if it were to be broken prior to 2035.

Rodriguez and Lore are 50-50 partners in the deal, Taylor said.

The 45-year-old Rodriguez hit 696 home runs over 22 major league seasons, with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. His last season on the field was 2016, marking the end of marvelous career that was tainted by performance enhancing drug use he later admitted to. Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating Major League Baseball policy.

Lore became Walmart's e-commerce chief in 2016, when the retail giant bought his Jet.com startup in an attempt to boost online business. Lore notified Walmart on Jan. 31 of his intent to leave the company. The 49-year-old Lore will continue to serve in a consulting role as a strategic adviser through September.

Rodriguez and Lore confirmed the agreement in a statement distributed to ESPN.

“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization,” the statement said.

Rodriguez was the headliner in a group that tried to purchase the New York Mets last year, before dropping out. Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen bought the club instead.

The background on the biggest stages of major sports that Rodriguez has was intriguing to Taylor.

“I just think he understands leadership and what it takes and the different ways that you can coach and motivate people," Taylor said, "and I think having him around will be helpful in the selection of the right leaders for the team."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 593622

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1228171731
Ramsey51446875
Dakota45976452
Anoka41782439
Washington26948283
Stearns22266222
St. Louis17787304
Scott17296124
Wright16082140
Olmsted1325598
Sherburne1173087
Carver1050745
Clay816392
Rice8063107
Blue Earth751541
Crow Wing666290
Kandiyohi656283
Chisago601351
Otter Tail575478
Benton571697
Goodhue478572
Douglas468575
Mower466232
Winona455050
Itasca439156
McLeod424559
Isanti422464
Morrison419660
Nobles408048
Beltrami397059
Steele388715
Polk384868
Becker380953
Lyon361051
Carlton345654
Freeborn342029
Pine329022
Nicollet326243
Brown305440
Mille Lacs305053
Le Sueur292423
Todd282432
Cass273428
Meeker256640
Waseca236322
Martin230732
Roseau209419
Wabasha20613
Hubbard190041
Dodge18513
Renville180343
Redwood174337
Houston171916
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156510
Wadena155922
Pennington153719
Faribault152419
Chippewa152338
Kanabec144726
Sibley143810
Aitkin135036
Watonwan13289
Rock128319
Jackson121812
Pipestone115926
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11056
Murray10639
Swift105618
Stevens91411
Marshall88117
Clearwater86916
Koochiching83615
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5399
Unassigned49293
Kittson48622
Red Lake3977
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367236

Reported Deaths: 5940
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57666626
Linn20892335
Scott20060241
Black Hawk15824308
Woodbury15138228
Johnson1449183
Dubuque13380208
Dallas1118398
Pottawattamie11132168
Story1062348
Warren577988
Clinton555893
Cerro Gordo540689
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481399
Des Moines458066
Wapello4303122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419372
Plymouth401280
Lee376055
Marion362875
Jones299057
Henry291937
Carroll285752
Bremer284860
Crawford266240
Boone265034
Benton256655
Washington254050
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196835
Page192722
Buchanan191432
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184737
Hamilton180049
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee158938
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148434
Winnebago142531
Cass138654
Calhoun138513
Grundy136333
Emmet134240
Jefferson132435
Shelby131137
Sac130419
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120721
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9710
Keokuk96031
Monroe95329
Ida90435
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Ringgold55824
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Audubon51010
Adams3384
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