How Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore's $1.5 billion purchase of the Timberwolves can rebuild the team, boost diversity in NBA


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NBAAlex Rodriguez on May 9, 2019, at NBC’s “Today.”Zach Pagano | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez is finally about to become a sports owner.

Months after the former Major League Baseball star came up short in a bid to buy the New York Mets, the National Basketball Association opened up its ownership club. Rodriguez will join former Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves for a reported $1.5 billion.

The move still needs approval from NBA owners, and Timberwolves current owner Glenn Taylor is expected to operate the franchise for two more years while Rodriguez and Lore transition into their ownership roles.

“They’ve asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made,” Taylor told the Associated Press. “I would enjoy that. I love teaching people. These are a couple of very bright guys, and I think it could be helpful to the club, and I think I could be helpful to them so that they feel confident once they take over 100%.”

Taylor will depart the club he purchased in 1994 for approximately $90 million. It’s currently one of the most losing franchises in pro sports and in the middle of a rift with its biggest franchise star, Kevin Garnett.

Perhaps Rodriguez and Lore can repair the team’s relationship and finally get Garnett’s jersey retired. But the new group will also need to address how it will build its organization, who will help run the basketball side and what types of owners they’ll be on the diversity front.

Though Taylor is praised for his work in the Minnesota community as a sports owner, he either failed to assemble great basketball minds or was too inconsistent with selecting front office staff and coaches.

Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves passes a ball before the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs on November 15, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Hannah Foslien | Getty Images

And for as much praise as the NBA gets with diversity, the league falls short on teams’ C-suite representation. In the 2020 diversity report card, issued annually by