There was a big splash when baseball legend Alex Rodriguez teamed up with tech billionaire Marc Lore and the pair entered an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves over a few years. The duo is already changing the Timberwolves’ culture — they pushed for a new team president in Tim Connelly, then wanted a big splash and the result was the Rudy Gobert trade.
But Rodriguez and Lore may not have the 50/50 partnership they first announced, with Rodriguez struggling to keep up his financial end of the deal, reports Josh Kosman at the New York Post. Rodriguez’s very public split from Jennifer Lopez is not helping matters, according to the report.
However, A-Rod at the time had failed to come up with his full share [of the first ownership payment], leaving Lore to cover the balance, three sources close to the situation said. As a result, Lore now has a roughly 13% share in the Timberwolves while A-Rod has amassed a mere 7%…
Now, terms of the deal require A-Rod and Lore to make the next 20% payment by year’s end, and A-Rod is scrambling to raise his half in addition to the cash he needs for the down payment, the three sources confirmed.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if A-Rod becomes a subservient No. 2 to Lore,” a source said, predicting that Lore might end up buying more than half and controlling the team.
Asked for a comment on this, Lore told The Post that he and A-Rod are still partners and make all the decisions about the team together. Which doesn’t really answer the money question. Under current NBA rules, Rodriguez has to pay for 15% of the team — roughly $200 million — to be an owner. The Post story also gets into how Rodriguez does not have the presence of J-Lo to help charm investors, something he apparently misses.
Lore has the money to buy the team outright at the reported $1.5 billion price tag, but he doesn’t seem to be pushing A-Rod out the door. Long-time team owner Glen Taylor reportedly is okay if the Lore/Rodriguez deal falls through because he believes the franchise value has gone up since the original agreement was struck.
None of this should impact the Timberwolves on the court, where they are poised to make a leap this season after the addition of Gobert and the growth of Anthony Edwards. Minnesota will be a lot more fun to watch on the court this season.
And maybe off it, too.