Former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore officially joined the ownership group of the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA and the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA on Wednesday, after their purchase of a limited stake in the teams was approved by the NBA board of governors.
For now, the teams will still be controlled by their longtime owner Glen Taylor, but it is expected that in 2023 Rodriguez and Lore will be majority owners. In April, a spokesperson for the Timberwolves said the purchase agreement “will initially involve a stake in a limited partnership with a path to controlling ownership of the organization.” The teams were sold for $ 1.5 billion, The New York Times reported reported.
Taylor, 80, is from Minnesota and made his fortune in the printing industry. He bought the Timberwolves in 1994 from a group of owners who were trying to move the team out of state. He owns told the Star Tribune newspaper, which he also owns, that the sale agreement would include wording to keep the teams in Minnesota, although it’s not clear if that ended up happening.
Rodriguez and Lore were part of a group, along with Jennifer Lopez and others, who tempted to buy the Mets, but did not reach the billions of Steven Cohen.
Since retiring from baseball in 2016, Rodriguez has worked as a baseball commentator for Fox and ESPN, and has invested in a number of companies. Lore made a fortune by founding Diapers.com, which sold to Amazon, and Jet, which sold to Walmart for $ 3.3 billion.
Although Rodriguez and Lore are now part of the group of owners, there is no guarantee that everything will go well.
One of the two will need to be designated as the owner of control, as the rules of the NBA, like those of other major professional sports leagues in the United States, require that one person be the final decision-maker. The planned succession of the property can go smoothly, as with the Nets, or messy, as with the Denver Broncos. And despite the inclusion of a clause that the new owners of the Seattle SuperSonics made a “good faith effort” to find a new arena in the Seattle area in 2006, two years later the team became the Oklahoma City Thunder, a situation that the NBA surely does not want to repeat with the Timberwolves, who joined the league in 1989.