Alex Rodriguez Jul 11, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; FOX Sports analyst Alex Rodriguez talks before before the 2023 MLB All Star Game at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

This week saw the long-in-the works deal for Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore to purchase the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx over time seemingly collapse. That came with owner Glen Taylor declaring Thursday they’d missed a payment and that the teams were now not for sale. But Rodriguez and Lore shot back Friday to Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams and Eric Jackson, insisting that they will wind up owning the team and blasting Taylor along the way:

The comments there from Rodriguez, a current Fox Sports MLB analyst, in that Sportico interview are perhaps particularly notable. Here’s what he said, including pushback to claims on the suite he and Lore built inside the Target Center:

“Think about it from our end: If we had an ironclad agreement, like we do, would we be talking about how Marc and Alex are more worried about the owners suite than making real [basketball] trades?” Rodriguez said. “It’s so f***ing childish. But you only do that when you don’t have any ground to sit on.”

Lore also went off on Taylor and his history of litigation (which includes a past fight with ex-GM Kevin McHale):

“I’ve never sued anyone; I’ve never been sued,” Lore said, “but we’re dealing with someone that is very comfortable operating that way, and we have to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our childhood dream here.”

As noted here earlier Friday, the seeming implosion of this bid is just the latest strange post-playing thing involving Rodriguez. And there are further discussions about Rodriguez here, including a New York Post report Thursday night from Josh Kosman and Ryan Glasspiegel that the supposed payment issue here was about Rodriguez’s challenges raising money for his part of the bid. (There’s also significant debate over if the NBA’s approval process should have trigged an automatic extension or not.)

But it is remarkable to see Lore and Rodriguez speaking out this prominently. And it’s especially notable to see them claiming that Taylor is “fabricating a story” (in the words of Novy-Williams and Jackson) to try and get out of this deal. That may be because the $1.5 billion valuation it was struck at in 2021 now seems low given NBA franchise sales since then, including at Ishbia buying the Phoenix Suns and Mercury at a valuation of $4 billion and a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall buying Michael Jordan’s majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets at a valuation of $3 billion.

The ultimate outcome here looks to come down to mediation, lawyers, and potentially courts (if mediation doesn’t work out). And statements in the media aren’t necessarily going to matter that much. But it is interesting to see Rodriguez and Lore push back on this so hard, and insist that they will wind up as the majority owners of the Timberwolves.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.