Last year, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez were in talks to buy the New York Mets. But that deal never gained steam and eventually fell apart. Instead, hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen purchased a majority stake in the Mets for $2.475 billion. It’s the highest-ever valuation for a sports franchise.
But Rodriguez didn’t spend much time resting his laurels. And now, he’s close to owning another team — just in a different sport.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are finalizing a deal to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves. Current majority owner Glen Taylor will control the team for two years, and Rodriguez and Lore will take over in 2023.
Wojnarowski added the purchase price is expected to be about $1.5 billion.
Taylor, 79, has been looking for a buyer since July of 2020. He bought the team for $88 million in 1994, which kept the Timberwolves in Minnesota instead of moving to New Orleans. At the time, the Timberwolves had only been in the league for five years, winning no more than 29 games in a season.
The team hasn’t fared much better since Taylor took over as owner, despite a handful of exciting players like Kevin Garnett, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and most recently, Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves made the playoffs every year from 1997 to 2004, but they only won two playoff series total during that span (both during the 2004 postseason).
Since then, the team has only reached the playoffs once, in 2017-18. They snuck in as the eighth seed and lost to the Houston Rockets in five games.
Taylor has had a better run as owner of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. That team has won four championships over the past ten years and is a perennial title contender.
For now, the Timberwolves will remain in Minnesota. But Rodriguez, who played for the Seattle Mariners, could try and bring a team back to the Pacific Northwest.
We’ll see what Rodriguez ultimately decides, but he’s finally an owner of a professional sports franchise. There’s only a small number of people that hold that title — and Rodriguez is now in that exclusive group.
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