Lore, A-Rod Confident They’ll Become Wolves’ Majority Owners

In an interview with Eben Novy-Williams and Eric Jackson of Sportico, Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez expressed confidence that they’ll eventually become the team’s majority owners.

We’re going to be the owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Lore said. “It’s just a matter of time, and how much pain Glen (Taylor) wants to put the fans, the players, the town and community through. It’s his choice. It didn’t have to be this way.”

On Thursday, current majority stakeholder Taylor said Lore and Rodriguez broke the terms of the purchase agreement by not completing the final payment option by March 27. He acknowledged “under certain circumstances, the buyer could have been entitled to a limited extension. However, those circumstances did not occur.”

Lore and Rodriguez told Sportico they fulfilled their end of the bargain, claiming that Taylor is trying to back out of a deal that he no longer views as “financially advantageous.” The duo call it a “complete and utter disregard for the contract.”

Specifically, Lore and Rodriguez pointed to a clause in the purchase agreement that states the buyers are entitled to an automatic 90-day extension “if they’ve submitted the signed financial subscriptions but are still awaiting NBA approvals.” They say the commitments were submitted on March 21 — six days prior to the March 27 deadline — and league approval is still pending.

While they didn’t commit to a lawsuit, Lore and Rodriguez said their lawyers are currently talking to the NBA, and they’re going to fight to uphold their interpretation of the contract.

I’ve never sued anyone; I’ve never been sued,” Lore said, per Sportico, “but we’re dealing with someone that is very comfortable operating that way, and we have to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our childhood dream here.”

There are more interesting tidbits from the interview with Novy-Williams and Jackson, which is worth reading in full. However, Lore, Rodriguez and Taylor also spoke to several other outlets on Thursday and Friday.

Here’s a round-up of the other interviews, which feature more details on the history and recent events from both sides of the ownership dispute:

  • Taylor was turned off by an “opulent private owners’ suite” that Lore and Rodriguez had built — and Taylor approved — near the team’s locker room, per Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic. “They wanted that private room for themselves down there,” Taylor told The Athletic. “I didn’t think that was a very good idea. But I OK’d it and paid for it and stuff like this. So I bent the corners a little bit and stuff like this here. But, I mean, that was more of their priority that they had that room than, ‘Who are we trading for?’” Former baseball star Rodriguez pushed back on that notion. “I would expect to hear that from like, a teenager, not from someone who’s so mature and so astute and who has been so successful,” Rodriguez said in a video call Friday. “Not only is that a cheap shot, but it is disingenuous and disappointing.”
  • Lore and Rodriguez say they were stunned by Taylor’s announcement that he would remain the majority owner and the sale was off, according to The Athletic’s report. “We thought we were on good terms and we had a good relationship, and they were happy with all the time that we’ve put into the team to help get the team to where it is today,” Lore said. “They seemed appreciative of that and then boom. It’s really like a nuclear bomb went off, completely unexpected and very, very disappointing.” Taylor, meanwhile says it was simply a business deal that didn’t materialize: “If they would have had the money on the 27th, the deal would have been all done and they would have had control .But they didn’t.”
  • In every interview they’ve given today, Lore and Rodriguez said when Taylor released his announcement, he also sent a message through his lawyer barring the pair from entering the private suite, entering certain parts of the arena, speaking to team executives, and even the players. Lore and Rodriguez view that as personal; Taylor told The Athletic it was standard procedure for minority owners. “It is now personal,” Rodriguez said. “We can be in this (fight) for five years, 10 years, whatever. We’re not going to let go.”
  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune — a paper owned by Taylor — has more quotes from both sides of the ownership disagreement. “It’s just bad faith that you have a deal and a contract, and then because you’re able to get more money, you just decide I don’t want the contract anymore,” Lore said. “That’s just bad faith. It’s not being a good person, a good partner, a good human. You just don’t do that. It’s sort of like honor. It’s honor a little bit. You made a deal and then you honor it because you have integrity.”
  • Rodriguez confirmed that he was the one raising money for the last payment option, and said he and Lore would have owned “close to 50%” of the franchise had the sale been completed, with other investors holding a significant stake — roughly 30%, per Hine (Taylor would have held the final 20%). Rodriguez and Lore currently control 36% of the Wolves and WNBA’s Lynx. There have been rumors throughout the past few years that the duo didn’t have the capital necessary to complete the sale, but they said that wasn’t the case. “I’ve never been in better financial position,” Lore said. “Way better now than I was two and a half years ago when we did this deal. … I’m flush with cash. I’ve got literally hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, ready to invest in the Wolves and bring home a championship. We’re never in a better spot.
  • Lore and Rodriguez also spoke to Dane Moore on his podcast and Darren Wolfson of KSTP Sports about their side of the disagreement. Among other things, Lore said he’d just seen Taylor and his wife at a game a few days ago and there was no indication that anything was amiss with the sale.
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