Former Major League Player Alex Rodriguez Reportedly Finalizing Deal To Buy Minnesota Timberwolves
Alex Rodriguez came up short in his bid to buy the New York Mets last fall, but the star-crossed former major league slugger reportedly is finalizing a deal to be a professional sports team owner after all — just not in baseball.
According to multiple reports Saturday night, Rodriguez and businessman Marc Lore are nearing a purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves from Glen Taylor, the team’s majority owner. Taylor, who will turn 80 April 20, bought the Timberwolves in 1994 for a reported $88 million. According to ESPN, Taylor is expected to sell the franchise for an estimated $1.5 billion, and he would maintain control of the Timberwolves for another two years.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday that the deal would also include Rodriguez and Lore owning the WNBA team, the Minnesota Lynx.
“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come,” Rodriguez and Lore said in a statement, according to ESPN. “We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization.”
Lore stepped down as president and chief executive officer of retail giant Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce in January. Walmart had purchased Lore’s Jet.com e-commerce site for $3.3 billion in 2016, according to Forbes.
Rodriguez, 45, made a serious run to buy the Mets along with fiancee Jennifer Lopez, and a group that included businessman Mike Repole, the owner of vitaminwater. But ultimately, billionaire hedge fund titan Steve Cohen won the Mets sweepstakes, and paid a reported $2.4 billion for the Queens baseball franchise.
Rodriguez and Lopez reportedly split according to recent reports.
The Star Tribune quoted Taylor saying it was his understanding that Rodriguez and Lore would keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota if their deal is finalized. When Taylor bought the team in 1994, he saved the franchise from a move to New Orleans.
“They will keep the team here, yes. We will put it in the agreement,” Taylor said in reference to Rodriguez and Lore, according to the Star Tribune. “At this point we have a letter of intent, but when we make up the contract we’ll put that in there. That’s no problem. That won’t be a problem.”
Lore and Rodriguez would still need to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, and would need to reach the necessary 75% threshold.
Rodriguez played for the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners during a 22-year career, and won three MVP awards. But his baseball arc was stained by his performance-enhancing drug use, including his MLB-sanctioned, season-long doping ban in 2014 due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez also admitted in 2009 that he used banned substances from 2001-03, when he played for the Rangers.
In his post-baseball days, Rodriguez has transitioned into a broadcast career with Fox and ESPN as a baseball analyst, and he has numerous other business interests.
But a years-long civil suit still hovers over Rodriguez, and the case is scheduled to go to jury trial in early August. Constantine Scurtis filed the civil lawsuit in late 2014, and in an amended version of the complaint filed earlier this year, Rodriguez is accused of racketeering and civil theft. Scurtis is Rodriguez’s former brother-in-law, and the dispute stems from a real estate company the two men started in 2003.
“Mr. Rodriguez will face a jury on August 2, 2021, to answer claims that he and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement, gravely damaging a legitimate and successful family real estate business that Constantine Scurtis built through hard work and savvy investment decisions, as laid out in the complaint,” Katherine Eskovitz, one of Scurtis’ attorneys, said earlier this year.
The Timberwolves boast one of the league’s bright young stars in guard D’Angelo Russell, but the franchise is currently the doormat of the Western Conference with a 13-40 record. The Timberwolves last made the NBA playoffs during the 2017-18 season and lost in the first round to Houston.
Published at Sun, 11 Apr 2021 02:32:57 +0000