Glen Taylor says the T-wolves are no longer for sale. Lore and A-Rod say it’s seller remorse

FILE - Minnesota Timberwolves Ownership Group Alex Rodriguez, left, Marc Lore,, second from left, and Glen Taylor, right, pose for a photo with Timberwolves new President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly (holding jersey) in Minneapolis, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The ownership transfer of the Timberwolves slammed to a halt when Taylor declared on Thursday, March 27, 2024, he won't take the final step of his drawn-out $1.5 billion deal to hand Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez the majority stake because they didn't meet all of the deadlines in the sale conditions. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP, File)

FILE – Minnesota Timberwolves Ownership Group Alex Rodriguez, left, Marc Lore,, second from left, and Glen Taylor, right, pose for a photo with Timberwolves new President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly (holding jersey) in Minneapolis, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The ownership transfer of the Timberwolves slammed to a halt when Taylor declared on Thursday, March 27, 2024, he won’t take the final step of his drawn-out $1.5 billion deal to hand Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez the majority stake because they didn’t meet all of the deadlines in the sale conditions. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The ownership transfer of the Minnesota Timberwolves slammed to a halt when Glen Taylor declared on Thursday he won’t take the final step of his drawn-out $1.5 billion deal to hand Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez the majority stake because they didn’t meet all of the deadlines in the sale conditions.

Lore and Rodriguez, who agreed to the purchase nearly three years ago, strongly disputed Taylor’s stance. They said he simply had cold feet about letting go.

“We went through the process, and I spent a lot of time. We’ve got a really good team, we’ve got a lot of good things going for us, I enjoy it and I’m healthy enough to do this,” Taylor said in an interview with The Associated Press after the announcement. “I don’t need the money, so I think I’ll just keep running it and enjoy it. I like my coach. I like my staff. This way everybody gets to keep their jobs, and I’ll be happy.”

Lore, the e-commerce entrepreneur, and Rodriguez, the former Major League Baseball star, issued a joint statement expressing disappointment in Taylor and contending that they’ve upheld their end of the deal that was to also include the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. Lore and Rodriguez already own about a 40% stake.

“We have fulfilled our obligations, have all necessary funding and are fully committed to closing our purchase of the team as soon as the NBA completes its approval process,” the partners said. “Glen Taylor’s statement is an unfortunate case of seller’s remorse that is short sighted and disruptive to the team and the fans during an historic winning season.”

The Timberwolves (50-22) beat Detroit on Wednesday to reach the 50-win mark for just the fifth time in the 35-year history of the franchise. They’re tied for second place in the Western Conference with Oklahoma City, a half-game behind Denver.

Taylor, who turns 83 on April 20, bought the Timberwolves for $88 million in 1994 to keep them in his native Minnesota after a deal the previous owners struck to move the team to New Orleans fell through. He’s a self-made billionaire who grew up on a farm and became a printing magnate after a job at a wedding invitations shop he got to put himself through college took off.

Before Lore and Rodriguez entered the picture, Taylor had flirted with selling multiple times only to pull the club off the market. After reaching the agreement, Taylor raved about the connection he made with them and how comfortable he felt handing over the reins to them. They bought about 20% of the franchise in 2021 and another portion around 20% in 2023.

The unique and deliberate transfer was orchestrated by both parties, giving Taylor the opportunity to not only ease his way out of a role he has treasured since rescuing the struggling franchise but to serve as a mentor to the incoming owners about the business of the league and the culture of the community.

Lore previously served as Walmart’s e-commerce chief and left that post shortly before the purchase agreement with Taylor. He is currently the CEO of Wonder, a food delivery startup in New York.

Rodriguez ranks fifth on baseball’s all-time home run list and has become an investor in a variety of businesses since his playing career. He’s also a trustee at the University of Miami.

Lore and Rodriguez unsuccessfully tried to purchase the New York Mets before Steve Cohen bought the MLB club in 2020. In an interview with the AP in 2022, Rodriguez said the NBA had welcomed him into the ownership world with open arms.

“It’s all about the fans in Minnesota. I think they deserve a winner,” Rodriguez said in that interview.

The partners exercised their option on Dec. 28 to buy another 40% and become controlling owners, and the agreement gave them a 90-day window to close the sale that expired on Wednesday. Taylor said he decided to void the contract for this third and final portion of the sale because Lore and Rodriguez missed certain deadlines related to the closing process.

“So we just said, ‘Let’s just leave it the way it is,’” Taylor said. “They’re limited partners, and that’s fine with me. They’ll make well on their investment, and we’ll just keep it the way it’s been.”

Forbes valued the Timberwolves at $2.5 billion in its latest projections for NBA clubs published at the beginning of the season.

Lore and Rodriguez regularly sit courtside at games, not far from Taylor’s usual seat next to his wife and the Wolves bench. What becomes of their relationship now remains to be seen. Taylor said he’s greeted Lore and Rodriguez in passing at recent games but spoken little with them about the sale of the club.

“He solicited me for investing into his new company, but we haven’t talked Timberwolves,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he’d work with them just as he does his other investors, as far as access and influence, but he acknowledged the likelihood of pushback from the pair through mediation or other means.

“I’m open to that, because I think in any legal thing that’s the way you resolve things,” Taylor said. “If they choose to do that we certainly would honor that and talk to somebody about it, but I think we’re pretty firm in our position.”

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AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

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