Yesterday the Wolves introduced Flip Saunders as their new President of Basketball Operations. Though since the Kevin McHale days, I’ve never really cared to understand the difference between a General Manager and a POBO — for Wolves sake, let’s just think of it as a position of power within the organization to seriously foul up personnel decisions and offer bad contracts.
As far as major revelations, according to Glen, on the strength of a pretty innocuous-sounding conversation, Flip convinced him not only to hire him as POBO, but to reconsider his selling of the team altogether.
The explanation sounds like something you’ve heard from Glen before. That makes it so insignificant that you question his decision-making process altogether — and you’re a billionaire? But it’s also so well-worn, so Taylor-esque, that it’s not surprising at all.
Why would any other billionaire get a group of people together to purchase a basketball play-thing like an NBA franchise under its previous owner’s stipulations — pledge not to relocate and then let him gradually walk away, etc. — if you think about it, it’s exactly what you expected all along.
Here’s Glen’s intro:
Flip and I have remained friends as he has been at Detroit and Washington. We talked occasionally, just talk about basketball and what’s going on in the league. We’ve kept that relationship. This past year on a couple of occasions, Flip and I had met, but it had more to do with I had made the announcement that I thought that I should start looking for a limited partner who would be the potential general partner of someone who would keep the team in Minnesota. Flip approached me about that and if he could assist me in that, in finding some people, that he had some contacts and he had some people contacting him. He brought me together with some potential investors. So that’s the relationship we have. I think Flip will remind me of one day in our talk he said to me ‘Glen are you really interested in selling this team? You sound pretty excited about it.’ And I said, ‘not really, I really do like it.’ He said, ‘You know, I’d really like to stay here. I would really like to work with you.’ And from that I think probably in the back of my mind and his mind we started to at least think about the possibility of going another direction.
And I would say based upon that, I have made the decision not to sell the team at all. Matter of fact, I have made an offer to my limiteds who have said that they might want to get out, that I offered to buy them out. So we’re going to go the opposite direction. Rather than me having a smaller interest in the team, it would be a larger interest in the team. Any limiteds that are in a place in life where they want to take advantage–and they’ll make a healthy reward on their investment in the Timberwolves–but want to take advantage of that, I will personally buy them out. But I would also say, as Flip is coming in as a limited (partner), that I still think that it would be in our interest to find some other people who live in Minnesota, who have a keen interest in our state and this organization, to come in as limiteds. So we’re open to doing that.