A-Rod Left Cashless at Timberwolves Checkout, Before Meeting Ruthless Businessman Glen Taylor

alex rodriguez
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor shocked the basketball world on Thursday when he dropped a statement that the purchase agreement he had to sell the majority of his shares in the Wolves and Lynx to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez was dead.

In the hours that have gone by since, we’ve seen both Taylor and the Lore + A-Rod group go on the attack. Taylor claims they didn’t get the money in on time, even after he provided them multiple extensions on their payments. A-Rod and Lore say that they have the money and were waiting on the NBA approval process to play out as planned.

Now, we wait to see what an arbitrator will eventually rule, on who was more right and who was more wrong. But a report recently released by the NY Post, helps shine some light on a situation where there seem to be problems and/or questionable dealings from both sides of the aisle.

Marc Lore left Alex Rodriguez cashless at Minnesota Timberwolves checkout counter

alex rodriguez a-rod marc lore glen taylor minnesota timberwolves
Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

When Marc Lore and A-Rod entered the fray all those years ago, he was sitting right next to Alex Rodriguez courtside at games on a regular basis. “Shoes off” was his thing, remember? But his feelings toward being the majority owner of the Wolves faded rather quickly, as he started pouring more of his time and energy into his new company, ‘Wonder’, which he currently has a large chunk of his NET worth wrapped up in.

“Marc Lore, who several years ago said that owning the Minnesota Timberwolves was a dream come true, largely walked away from his option to buy control of the team leaving it to Alex Rodriguez, sources close to the situation said.”

“Right now Lore is laser-focused on keeping his gourmet food delivery-company Wonder. He has in recent months invested several hundred million in the money-losing start-up and just completed a $700 million round of financing, sources said.”

“Lore owns more than half of the company, and it represents much of his net worth.”

NY Post

Lore didn’t necessarily screw Rodriguez over by refusing to fork over the cash needed to close this deal with Taylor, though. Instead, it sounds like the plan all along was for A-Rod to purchase just as much of the team as Lore did, but that he quickly ran into financial troubles, after his split with Jennifer Lopez, which happened around the same time it was announced they were buying the Wolves.

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That left Lore footing most of the bill, early on in the buying process. So as later payments came due, Marc left Rodriguez scrounging for pennies underneath the couch cushions while his focus and NET worth was tied up elsewhere. Either A-Rod needed to find the money or Lore was clearly willing to let the entire thing fall through.

“Lore, who told the NBA he was worth about $4 billion, did not want to invest much of the $520 million needed for him and A-Rod to increase their stake in the team, along with co-investors, from 40 to 80 percent by Wednesday’s deadline.”

“Lore was willing to invest a relatively little amount of money, but wanted A-Rod, who had put in a lot less than Lore, to catch up in this new round of financing to a level much closer to what he had invested, sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.

The initial plan was Lore and A-Rod would invest roughly equally in the team. That meant A-Rod needed to raise most of the money for this next investment round and he tried to for months.”

“A-Rod, who is believed to be worth much less than Lore, needed to find the money for this next payment largely by himself, sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.”

NY Post

The Post notes that A-Rod may have made a couple of crucial mistakes along the way. First, he chose not to use an investment banker, when searching for more money. Then, he tried selling shares to new investors at a higher valuation ($2 billion) than what he and Lore agreed to with Taylor ($1.5 billion).

Sources told The New York Post that, had he used an investment banker and/or tried to sell those shares with a $1.5 billion total valuation, he would have had a much higher likelihood of closing the deal sooner. But, A-Rod wanted to pocket the difference.

Related: Former Timberwolves Employee Arrested for Stealing Hard Drive

The Wolves are thought to be worth closer to $3 billion, so it isn’t a terrible play from a business standpoint, moreso bad timing. Don’t get greedy when you’re desperate. But A-Rod thought he had an ace in the hole with the Carlyle Group, but after months of going through the approval process, the NBA rejected the investment group, leaving Rodriguez broke again, with more deadlines fast approaching.

According to the NY Post’s report, A-Rod still managed to raise the funds somehow… but it was late and missed multiple deadlines. So the final question comes down to one thing. Had the NBA extended Alex and Marc’s payment window, in order to review their application to become NBA owners? They say yes. Taylor clearly disagrees, and decided to terminate the agreement.

A-Rod learns about Glen Taylor’s ruthless businessman side

Per usual, Taylor is far from innocent in this whole thing. There’s no doubt he’s been having seller’s remorse recently. But it’s not just about seller’s remorse. The NY Post accuses Glen of blindsiding A-Rod with yesterday’s announcement; that the two were just together the other day and the 82-year-old acted like everything was fine.

“A-Rod may have been surprised by Taylor’s announcement that he was not extending the deadline, a source who has dealt with the owner said: “I bet A-Rod found out this morning when he read the press release. That’s Glen’s style.”

“In fact, Taylor saw Lore and A-Rod a few days ago and implied that everything was in order, a source said.” Former Timberwolves general manager Kevin McHale in 2020 sued Taylor, who has a history of conflicts with past partners, for allegedly sabotaging a medical company he owned.”

NY Post

I wrote about the Taylor vs McHale situation back when it happened. It is one of those stories that really unveils the ruthless businessman side of Glen, who from the outside, comes off as a loveable, semi-senile old man who wouldn’t understand the difference between a pyramid scheme and a map of ancient Egypt.

In reality, Glen Taylor rose to power because he will slice all of your (proverbial) arms off, if it means getting the upper-hand on any business deal. Kevin Garnett called him a snake and still refuses to associate with the Wolves organization until he’s gone. Feelings like that don’t develop by chance. That’s the guy who A-Rod apparently didn’t realize he was dealing with, until it was too late.

One source told The Post that Taylor got “cold feet” about the sale in recent months as the Timberwolves have rocketed into contention for an NBA championship and Anthony Edwards has blossomed into a superstar.

NY Post

The moment Glen’s seller’s remorse started kicking in, which appears to have been in the last few months, he needed to watch his back at every turn. If this move caught him by surprise, that’s on him. And one more thing, I know Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are powerful people, but I would be shocked if this ends up in anybody’s favor but Taylor’s.

I cannot see him making this move, if he hadn’t already had conversations with people and lawyers inside the league offices, who affirmed this move. I have to imagine this elongated process was frustrating Adam Silver. It would not surprise me at all if he jumped for joy when Glen called him and confessed the second-thoughts he was having over this sale.

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