Timberwolves fined $250,000 for preseason team workout at Alex Rodriguez’s house

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Back in September, before training camp opened, the Minnesota Timberwolves gathered in Miami for a preseason workout and bonding week centered around new owner Alex Rodriguez’s house. It wasn’t just the players, staff and front office people were there as well hanging with the new owner, and there were team dinners.

That will cost the Minnesota organization $250,000, the NBA announced Monday. From the official league press release:

“The Minnesota Timberwolves organization has been fined $250,000 for violating league rules that prohibit teams from arranging or paying for offseason practice or group workout sessions for their players outside a team’s home market, the NBA announced today.  These violations occurred in connection with Timberwolves’ player activities in Miami in early September.”

If you are saying to yourself, “players from most teams get together for organized pre-camp workouts,” you’d be correct. For example, the Lakers did it in Las Vegas this year, and they were far from alone.

The difference is LeBron organized the workouts outside the team structure — this was not official, nobody was getting paid, Frank Vogel and the coaching staff were not around, and Jeanie Buss was not hitting the club with the players at night. In the Timberwolves case, it was at Rodriguez’s home and plenty of team personnel were on hand. Minnesota put something together that looked far more official.

Lesson learned for the new owners, albeit an expensive one.