Alex Rodriguez And Marc Lore Are No Longer Buying The Timberwolves

Former Shark Tank host Alex Rodriguez and diaper entrepreneur Marc Lore will no longer be purchasing the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx with someone else’s money. The pair had been in the process of buying a controlling stake in the teams from longtime owner Glen Taylor ever since becoming minority owners in 2021, and though it seemed as recently as one week ago that the final step would soon be completed, Taylor put out a statement on Thursday announcing, “The Timberwolves and Lynx are no longer for sale.”

This sale has been a weird one since it was announced. Rodriguez and Lore agreed to pay $1.5 billion for the team, forking over the money in a series of installments for a series of 20-percent chunks of the team. They currently own 40 percent of the franchise, and announced in December 2023 that they’d soon be buying an additional 40 percent of the team—or, in Adrian Wojnarowski’s words, they’d “exercise their option to acquire controlling ownership interest” in the team and “will be formalizing an intent” to purchase the last 40 percent. That’s extremely wishy-washy language, and even in that report, Woj acknowledged that Rodriguez and Lore would still have to come up with the cash. They had 90 days to make the payments, a period that expired on Wednesday.

That’s where the Carlyle Group came in (and with them, the Bin Laden family name), initially agreeing to lend the pair hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase the team. But then something happened—in a uniquely busted sentence, ESPN merely reports they “did not come to an agreement regarding requirements for those investing in the NBA”—and the Carlyle Group dropped out. Still, the Rodriguez group roped in a new investment firm at the last second and seemed to have everything ironed out.

But after working together to transition control of the team from Taylor to Rodriguez and Lore for three years, a transition that included the new owners personally luring Nuggets GM Tim Connelly and going after Rudy Gobert, the relationship began to fray. Maybe the issue is the money, though Rodriguez and Lore put out a statement of their own on Thursday confirming that they were prepared to make the last payment and seize control, only for Taylor to balk:

We are disappointed with Glen Taylor’s public statement today. 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.

Glen Taylor’s statement is an unfortunate case of seller’s remorse that is shortsighted and disruptive to the team and the fans during a historic winning season.

ESPN

No money changed hands this month, though it seems like there are some significantly different interpretations of whether or not Rodriguez and Lore fulfilled all their obligations. Per The Athletic, “Taylor’s view of the agreement shows that the prospective owners have missed several benchmarks along the way, including not yet going under a final review from the NBA’s finance committee, not receiving a letter of approval or a vote from the board of governors.”

The 80-year-old Taylor has insisted that he no longer plans to sell the team, which makes some sense when framed against the last clause in Rodriguez and Lore’s statement. They agreed to buy the team after a 23-win season, and three years later, the Wolves are 50-22, with Anthony Edwards on a new five-year max contract. The value of the team is probably higher, especially as Mark Cuban just sold his Mavs stake for $3.5 billion. Given the likelihood the Wolves would command a higher sale price today, and thus how close Rodriguez and Lore came to getting what may have been a screaming deal (especially since, again, they used other people’s money), one wonders if this one won’t go to the courts.

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