July 22, 2020
Cheryl Reeve confident in Glen Taylor’s interest in selling Lynx franchise
“I just continue to have faith in what Glen wants,” Reeve said.
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Minnesota Lynx logo. Photo credit: NBA Media Central
How you learn your job is in jeopardy is difficult to forget — especially if you find out the way Cheryl Reeve was informed the Detroit Shock franchise was being relocated.
In 2009, Reeve, then a nine-year assistant coach in the WNBA, was sitting in an airport, waiting to leave for vacation when the Detroit Shock website had been prematurely changed to “Tulsa Shock.”
“That’s how I found out that we didn’t have jobs in Detroit,” Reeve, the Lynx’s current head coach and general manager, said. “I say that to say that oftentimes, we’re the last to know in these sort of situations.”
The transparency is different this time around in Reeve’s career as Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor is exploring options to sell the two franchises.
“This situation is different,” Reeve said. “There has been communication, and I believe — as I’ve told the players — Glen cares about all the entities that are under the Timberwolves umbrella.”
Tuesday afternoon, Sportico’s Scott Soshnick reported that billionaire Taylor had retained The Raine Group to sell the Minnesota Timberwolves. The article did not mention the implications bringing in a new owner may have on the Lynx, nor did it mention Taylor’s ownership of the WNBA franchise.
But Taylor’s ownership of the Lynx should not be a neglected, blip on his resume.
“Glen Taylor is everything to this organization,” said Lynx former MVP and two-time champion Sylvia Fowles when asked about Taylor’s search for a new owner.
Fowles’ reaction can be chalked up to Taylor and his wife Becky’s presence among both the Lynx and Timberwolves franchises. Taylor isn’t a professional sports owner whom fans have to Google search to identify. The Taylors sit courtside in Target Center for all Lynx and Timberwolves games — the good and the ugly.
“He understands the relationship part of being really good, and so, we’ve had that,” Reeve said. “And I don’t mean just with Roger (Griffith), myself and him. I mean like how much he cares about the players. This goes for the Wolves and the Lynx. He just really embraces that. He wants to know … much like we talk about, we want to know more about our players, more than just on the court. I think it’s a perfect alignment in that way. I think our players feel that.”
Taylor became the majority owner of the Timberwolves in 1995 and added to his investments in 2002 when he became the majority owner of the Lynx after serving as the Lynx’s operating owner for the previous four seasons of the team’s existence.
Taylor went on to appoint Reeve as the Lynx’s head coach during the 2009 offseason, and the Lynx went on to win four championships in the first eight seasons of Reeve’s head coaching career. The Lynx have also qualified for the WNBA playoffs for nine straight seasons and appeared in every WNBA Finals series from 2011-13 and 2015-17.
The Lynx’s historic success can be attributed to Reeve, Griffith and a handful of some of the most talented players the WNBA has ever seen. But Taylor’s leadership can’t be overlooked if you ask Reeve.
“I think Glen Taylor is one of the best listeners I’ve ever had in my life in terms of someone that I would report to,” Reeve said. “He listens really, really well and is a good problem-solver, which is why I guess he’s the billionaire that he is.
“We’ve learned a lot. Hopefully, he’s learned a lot from us.”
Taylor has been known for his equal allotment of resources and treatment of the Lynx and Timberwolves, which isn’t always the case for those who own both WNBA and NBA franchises.
Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett and the Wilf family that owns the Minnesota Vikings have emerged as top candidates to buy the franchises, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski and ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s reporting.
Taylor told Krawczynski keeping the two franchises in Minnesota will be a requirement for potential bidders, but how will he ensure the next owner will preserve the equal footing he’s cemented for the Lynx and Timberwolves?
Reeve doesn’t have that answer right now. And frankly, she’s too busy to give it much thought, considering her team is four days away from opening its 2020 season at the IMG Academy clean site.
But she has confidence in the owner who has continuously instilled confidence in her.
“I just continue to have faith in what Glen wants,” Reeve said. “I do understand it’s a business deal and things could change, but at this point, I think Glen’s involvement — and really anybody that takes on the franchise is going to have an understanding about what they have in the Lynx as well as the Wolves. I’m confident.”