April 12, 2021
How will prospective new Minnesota Lynx owners Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore support the team?
Troubling early signs in public-facing communications from group set to purchase Lynx from Glen Taylor
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Over the weekend, news broke that former baseball player Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore submitted a letter of intent to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball programs. Current owner Glen Taylor announced last summer his intent to sell the franchises.
A 30-day window for negotiations has begun for accountants and attorneys on both sides to finalize an agreement and then the purchase would need to be approved by the NBA. It is said that the agreement includes a stipulation to keep both teams in Minnesota.
But there are still a lot of questions on how the sale will affect the Lynx. Taylor is known for his equitable treatment between the Lynx and Timberwolves franchises, and this isn’t often the case where cities have both WNBA and NBA teams. In February of this year, Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve spoke on the Nothing But Net with Debbie Antonelli podcast about the importance of shared resources between the NBA and WNBA.
“These things start at the top. Look at our franchise in Minnesota,” Reeve said. “Glen Taylor is incredibly supportive and he does little things.”
A shining example of Taylor’s leadership can be found in the renovation decisions of the Target Center a few years back.
“It was important to (Glen) that (the) facility would reflect that two teams resided there and so everywhere you see a Timberwolves logo, you see a Lynx logo,” Reeve said. “So it’s co-branded.”
Taylor and his wife, Becky, were regulars at both Lynx and Timberwolves games, loyally sitting courtside for both teams.
It’s also notable that every press release includes both the Timberwolves and Lynx team names.
“What that says to the community is that the Lynx are important,” continued Reeve on the podcast. “Your ability to flex your leverage to lift up your other entities, that’s how we get to the space of being able to monetize the WNBA more simply.”
Will A-Rod and Lore continue Taylor’s passion for both franchises? Unfortunately, the joint statement put out by the pair raises some red flags for Lynx fans, as there’s no mention of Minnesota’s most decorated professional sports franchise.
However, there’s time for the prospective new owners to learn from Taylor. Should the sale be approved, Glen Taylor would keep control of the franchises until 2023 at which point Rodriguez and Lore would formalize their ownership roles. In a phone call with the Associated Press, Taylor shared that, “(Rodriguez and Lore have) asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made. (I) would enjoy that. I love teaching people.”
Back in July 2020, when asked about the potential sale of the teams, 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.”
Lynx fans, and women’s sports fans in general, will be keeping their eyes on this sale and how the new owners will support the Lynx franchise.