Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod, Lore Approved By Board Of Governors, Join Wolves Ownership Group

JULY 21: Rodriguez and Lore have officially closed their deal to assume control of 20% of the Wolves and the succession plan is now underway, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The team put out a press release formally welcoming A-Rod and Lore to the ownership group.


JULY 20: The NBA’s Board of Governors conducted a vote today to formally approve Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore as minority shareholders in the Timberwolves, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Rodriguez and Lore reached an agreement with current Wolves owner Glen Taylor that will see the duo eventually take majority control of the franchise, but that won’t happen right away. The succession plan A-Rod and Lore negotiated with Taylor calls for the new owners to take the reins by the 2023/24 season.

Given that arrangement, the league’s Board of Governors only needed to approve Rodriguez and Lore as limited partners for the time being. Once it’s time for majority control to change hands in 2023, another vote will be required, and there’s no reason to believe the new owners won’t be approved at that time.

Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star as an MLB player, winning three MVP awards in 2003, 2005, and 2007, along with a title in 2009. Since retiring from baseball in 2016, A-Rod has become an entrepreneur and media star. His investments include fitness gyms, coconut water, e-sports, Fanatics, and a digital delivery service called goPuff.

Lore began his fortune with Quidsi, which sold to Amazon for $545MM in 2021, and later founded Jet.com, which Walmart bought for $3.3 billion in 2016. He served as Walmart’s eCommerce chief from 2016-21 before stepping down from that position earlier this year.

Rodriguez and Lore are said to be equal partners in the purchase, which also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

And-Ones: COVID-19 Testing, Female Coaches, White, Hilliard, A-Rod

All of the players in the Finals have been tested daily for COVID-19 and none of them have returned a confirmed positive test since July 7, the NBA announced today (via Twitter). Outside of Chris Paul early in the postseason, no player has returned a positive test since the playoffs began.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • NBA players are increasingly open-minded about female coaches, but front offices remain reluctant to give one of them a shot as a head coach, according to Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Times. There’s increasing pressure on the league to give Spurs assistant Becky Hammon — a finalist for the Trail Blazers job — a chance to be a head coach, but GMs in a risk-averse league keep finding reasons to pass on her and other female candidates. Having more female executives around the league could change those perceptions, Nguyen adds.
  • Former NBA big man Okaro White has signed to play with Greece’s Panathinaikos next season, Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays. White played in Russia last season. He appeared in 41 games for the Heat in 2016-18 and saw action in three games with the Wizards in 2018/19.
  • Former NBA guard Darrun Hilliard has agreed to terms with Germany’s Bayern Munich, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Hilliard appeared in 77 Pistons games from 2015-17 after getting drafted in the second round. He also played 14 games for the Spurs during the 2017/18 season.
  • Timberwolves buyers Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore met with the league’s Finance Committee this week, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. It’s part of the process to receive league approval for their first 20% purchase of the team. They will make multiple purchases of the franchise over the next few years until they become the controlling owners. The sale agreement was reached in mid-May. The Finance Committee is expected to recommend to the NBA’s Board of Governors that it approves the first sale.

Lawsuit Related To Sale Of Timberwolves Dismissed

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Timberwolves’ second-largest shareholder, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The decision means the sale of the team and the transition plan to new owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez can proceed as outlined in the sale agreement.

Meyer Orbach filed the suit in late May in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, claiming owner Glen Taylor’s arrangement with the buyers violates a partnership agreement by excluding “tag along rights.” That provision gives minority investors the option of selling their interests in the team before Taylor can. Orbach owns 17% of the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, as well as the G League Iowa Wolves and the T-Wolves Gaming eSports franchise.

The judge sided with Taylor’s argument that because Lore and Rodriguez will start with a 20% share before gradually becoming full owners, there’s no initial agreement for controlling interest of the teams, Krawczynski adds (via Twitter). He ruled that Orbach’s contention that he should receive an immediate payout is null and void.

Lore and Rodriguez agreed to purchase the team for $1.5 billion and will serve as limited partners for two years while Taylor keeps majority control. The deal still needs final approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Northwest Notes: Wolves Sale, Conley, Lillard, MPJ

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has filed legal documentation responding to a complaint filed recently by minority shareholder Meyer Orbach, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Orbach, who says he owns approximately 17% of the franchise, argued that his “tag-along rights” were violated, since he didn’t get the opportunity to cash out his stake in the team when the sale agreement with Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore was finalized.

Taylor contends that Orbach is not entitled to be bought out at this point because Rodriguez and Lore won’t assume majority control of the Timberwolves for two more years. For now, the duo has only agreed to purchase 20% of the club — full majority control will be subject to further investment and further league approval over the next two years.

While the legal battle between Taylor and Orbach may ultimately have little-to-no impact on Timberwolves fans, Dane Moore of Blue Wire Podcasts (Twitter link) points to an Instagram comment that made be of more interest to fans in Minnesota.

As Moore writes, Rodriguez replied to a comment asking him to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota by replying, “We will!” There has been speculation that the new ownership group might want to relocate the franchise, but A-Rod’s first public statement on the topic suggests that’s not the plan.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Jazz point guard Mike Conley, who has yet to play in the second round due to a mild right hamstring strain, is “making progress” but remains day-to-day, head coach Quin Snyder said on Monday, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). While Utah could still conceivably win the series if Conley remains unavailable, the last couple games have showed how much the team misses its starting point guard, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic.
  • Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter said during a Monday appearance on SiriusXM Radio that he’d be surprised if Damian Lillard decides he wants to leave Portland, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “He wants to win it all in Portland. I’m saying this every time I talk about him, but he’s definitely one of the most loyal and maybe the most loyal player in the league,” Kanter said. “… He doesn’t care about the big market, big-city base, and that he wants to just bring a championship to Portland and the state of Oregon.”
  • With Michael Porter Jr. up for a rookie scale extension this offseason, Mark Kiszla and Mike Singer of The Denver Post discuss whether the Nuggets should be comfortable putting a maximum-salary offer on the table for the 22-year-old forward.

Northwest Notes: Timberwolves Sale, Micic, Barton, Porter Jr.

A lawsuit filed by a limited partner regarding the agreement to sell the Timberwolves has revealed that there’s no language in the contract that prevents the team from being moved into a different market, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic details. The filing made in district court alleges that team owner Glen Taylor was in breach of contract because limited partner Meyer Orbach, who has a 17% stake in the team, was not given the opportunity to sell his shares before the agreement was completed.

The agreement between Taylor to sell the team to former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore was announced earlier this month.

Taylor has repeatedly said he wants the team to stay in Minneapolis. Sources told Krawczynski that Lore and Rodriguez are committed to the Twin Cities market and there haven’t been any discussions about moving the Timberwolves.

According to the The Athletic’s report, Taylor entered a unique arrangement with Lore and Rodriguez, subject to league approval this summer. They’ll initially invest $250MM and will not be majority partners right from the start. The plan is for the duo to purchase shares of the team gradually and gain  controlling interest by December 2023.

Taylor would thus retain control over the team for two more seasons unless Lore and Rodriguez can pay him off earlier than that.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic was named the EuroLeague’s Final Four Most Valuable Player after leading Anadolu Efes Istanbul to the championship for the first time in club history, according to EuroLeague.net. He averaged 25.0 points and 5.5 assists in the Final Four. He previously was named the league’s MVP after averaging 16.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 38 EuroLeague games. He is a candidate to come stateside for the 2021/22 season.
  • Nuggets swingman Will Barton won’t play against Portland in Game 5 on Tuesday but he could be available for Game 6 and a potential Game 7, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Barton, who has been sidelined by a right hamstring strain, practiced in full on Monday.
  • Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. vows to be much more aggressive in Game 5 after a lackluster outing in Game 4, Singer writes. “It’s on us as a team but a lot of it is on me as well,” he said. “If I’m not getting any actions, I’ve got to figure it out in transition, on the glass. I can’t let myself be as small of a factor as I was the last couple of games.”

Shareholder Files Complaint Over Pending Sale Of Timberwolves

MAY 27: Taylor has issued the following statement, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link):I am aware of the story published by ESPN and the litigation that has been filed. As a policy, we do not comment on pending legal matters. I stand by my prior statements and commitment to keeping the Timberwolves and Lynx in Minnesota.”


MAY 26: The Timberwolves‘ second largest shareholder has filed a legal complaint related to the pending sale of the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Meyer Orbach filed the document today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleging that Glen Taylor‘s agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez violates the franchise’s partnership agreement. The complaint charges that Taylor didn’t honor “tag along rights” that would give minority investors the opportunity to sell their interests in the team before Taylor does.

Orbach owns more than 17% of the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. He claims the “tag along” provision should be exercised immediately once the sale is finalized.

Lore and Rodriguez reached an agreement on May 13 to buy the Wolves for $1.5 billion, but the purchase won’t be official until the new owners receive approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Orbach’s complaint reveals that Taylor didn’t include a provision in the sale agreement that would prohibit Lore and Rodriguez from moving the franchise away from Minnesota, Wojnarowski adds. Taylor has spoken frequently of his commitment to the area and his desire for the team to remain in place once he no longer owns it.

Instead, the agreement has a clause that would require the new owners to “present to the Advisory Board for discussion” any plan to take the franchise out of the Twin Cities market, Wojnarowski states. However, there is no language in the deal that expressly prohibits a move.

Timberwolves Confirm Sale Agreement

The Timberwolves have issued a statement confirming that the team will be sold to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Glen Taylor has reached an agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez regarding the sale and future ownership of the Wolves and (WNBA) Lynx,” the statement reads. “The transaction will close following league approval beginning the transition of ownership and a new chapter.”

The sale price will be $1.5 billion, and operating control will transfer to Lore and Rodriguez in the 2023/24 season, Windhorst adds (via Twitter). Also included in the sale are the team’s G League affiliate (the Iowa Wolves) and eSports franchise (T-Wolves Gaming).

News of the formal agreement broke Thursday, with a report that a deal was in place after several weeks of negotiating. Lore and Rodriguez went past their 30-day exclusive window, but it turned out to be necessary for all the details to be finalized.

Since negotiations began, the plan has been for Lore and Rodriguez to serve as limited partners for two years while Taylor retains majority control. That will give them an opportunity to become fully immersed in the operations of an NBA franchise before taking it over completely.

Taylor, who recently turned 80, has put the team on the market several times over the years, but hadn’t been able to find the right offer. He has been insistent that any new owners keep the team in Minnesota.

Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore Reach Agreement To Buy Timberwolves

Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore have an agreement in place to buy the Timberwolves from current owner Glen Taylor, a source tells A.J. Perez and Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

As previously reported, the valuation of the franchise in the sale is $1.5 billion, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania (Twitter link), Rodriguez and Lore, who are expected to formally sign the paperwork shortly, will be equal partners in the purchase.

The deal, which includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, won’t be official until it receives approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors, as Perez and McCarthy note. However, there’s no indication that won’t be a formality now that Rodriguez and Lore have reached an agreement with Taylor.

Rodriguez and Lore appeared close to finalizing a deal to buy the Wolves from Taylor back on April 10, when the two sides entered into a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to hammer out the specific details. That 30-day window ended earlier this week, but the parties continued to negotiate in good faith, with Lore expressing that he believed the talks were “close to the finish line.” It seems he was right.

We’ll have to wait for confirmation on the terms of the agreement, but the plan all along has been for Taylor to retain majority control of the franchise for the time being, with Rodriguez and Lore initially serving as limited partners. The new owners would take the reins by the 2023/24 season. The Nets took a similar approach to their most recent sale, with Joe Tsai purchasing a partial stake in the franchise from Mikhail Prokhorov before eventually assuming majority control.

Taylor, who bought the team for $88MM in 1994, has placed it on the market several times over the years, but hadn’t found an offer he was willing to accept until now. The 80-year-old was insistent on keeping the Wolves in Minnesota and wanted to find purchasers who would agree to become short-term partners so he could mentor them before they fully took over.

Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star as an MLB player, winning three MVP awards in 2003, 2005, and 2007, along with a title in 2009. Since retiring from baseball in 2016, A-Rod has become an entrepreneur and media star. His investments include fitness gyms, coconut water, e-sports, Fanatics, and a digital delivery service called goPuff.

Lore began his fortune with Quidsi, which sold to Amazon for $545MM in 2021, and later founded Jet.com, which Walmart bought for $3.3 billion in 2016. He served as Walmart’s eCommerce chief from 2016-21 before stepping down from that position earlier this year.

Arthur Hill contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marc Lore Believes Wolves Negotiations “Close To Finish Line”

As we detailed on Tuesday, the exclusive 30-day negotiating window that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and a group led by Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore entered into last month expired this week, but the two sides reportedly continue to negotiate in good faith.

Speaking to Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg, Lore confirmed that point and expressed optimism that a deal will get done. According to Boyle, Lore said that talks with Taylor are “going well” and that he thinks they’re “getting close to the finish line.”

While Lore’s comments don’t provide any guarantees, they’re an encouraging sign, given that Taylor has entered into exclusive negotiating windows with potential suitors for the team in the past and has never completed a deal.

Taylor appears to have gotten much further down the road with Lore and Rodriguez than with those previous bidders. The two sides have already agreed on some key points, including a valuation in the $1.5 billion range for the franchise, and a plan to have Lore and A-Rod come aboard as limited partners before they eventually assume majority control.

Still, with the exclusivity window closed and no deal officially done, there’s an opening for other interested parties to get in touch with Taylor and attempt to gain some traction in discussions of their own. Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via Twitter) that former NBA wing Arron Afflalo, who is heading up one potential ownership group, intends to resume his efforts to buy the team. It remains to be seen if those talks or others will go anywhere.

Timberwolves Sale Negotiations Continue Beyond 30-Day Window

When a group led by former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore reached a tentative agreement to buy the Timberwolves from current owner Glen Taylor last month, the two sides entered into a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to finalize the terms of the deal.

That 30-day window has now closed, and Rodriguez, Lore, and Taylor have yet to complete their agreement, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. However, the parties continue to negotiate in good faith in the hopes of hammering out a deal, Windhorst adds.

As Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), the end of the 30-day window didn’t represent a deadline to finalize the sale. It simply gave the two sides a month to focus on completing a deal without Taylor considering other potential buyers.

Now that the window has closed, Taylor could theoretically look elsewhere, but it sounds like he remains focused on the Rodriguez/Lore group. The two sides may agree to extend the exclusive negotiating window, Windhorst notes, though that hasn’t been done yet.

Taylor has entered into exclusive negotiating windows in the past with interested parties and hasn’t closed a deal in those instances. However, he never got as far down the road with any of those previous suitors as he has with Rodriguez and Lore.

As we detailed last month, the two sides have agreed on a valuation of the franchise in the $1.5 billion range, which would include the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx in addition to the Timberwolves.

The two sides have also agreed on a plan to have Rodriguez and Lore initially come aboard as minority partners before assuming majority control by the 2023/24 season. According to Windhorst, one issue that has been at the center of discussions in recent weeks has been a guarantee that Taylor will cede his majority control of the franchise by a specific date.

It still appears that the parties will eventually work out the specific terms and agree to a deal, but until the sale is official, it’s a situation worth monitoring.