7 People who turned their backs on the Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages
7 of 7

1. Glen Taylor... or Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore?

Alas, one of the worst owners in professional sports…or is he? Before we discuss recent events, we'll take a look at Glen Taylor's turbulent period of ownership. Taylor purchased the Timberwolves in 1994 for a mere $94 million.

While Taylor's tenure as owner began on a high note, several contract disputes and mishandling of egos began to mar his ownership. The Laettner, Rider, Gugliotta, and Marbury debacles all occurred within the first few seasons of Taylor's reign.

Furthermore, the Garnett contract was by no means a low-key deal as it reset the entire market. And then, just a year after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was put in place, Taylor was suspended for nine months after signing Joe Smith to a secret contract in violation of the league's salary cap rules.

Despite the contract drama, Taylor oversaw an impressive run from 2000 to 2004. The Wolves won 47 or more games in every season and made the Western Conference Finals in 2004. However, the success was cut short as the organization cut ties with head coach Flip Saunders and turned the keys over to Kevin McHale.

Combining McHale's mediocre coaching ability and the organization's failure to retain key players besides Garnett—losing ensued. The Wolves failed to win 40 games in the 2005-06 season and it only got worse from there.

Minnesota decided to trade franchise stalwart Garnett in 2007, prompting a complete overhaul. Over the next 10 seasons, Minnesota failed to make the playoffs. The franchise lacked any sort of consistency. While not entirely on Taylor, the management failed miserably. The Wolves brass misfired on several draft picks, failed to retain stars, and made no moves to better the team.

The Butler era provided a playoff appearance, but it was extremely short-lived. It took until 2021-22 for the Wolves to make the playoffs once again. Earlier that season, Taylor agreed, in principle, to sell the franchise to Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore.

From an outsider's perspective, it appeared as if Lore and Rodriguez were doing a fantastic job of uplifting the franchise. Minnesota went from bottom-dweller to contender in just five seasons. With the additions of Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley Jr., and Jaden McDaniels, the squad became one of the better teams in the league.

Last month, the shift in majority ownership was primed to occur. Seemingly out of the blue, Taylor billed the Wolves as, "no longer for sale." The statement held an incredible amount of shock value. Fans of the Wolves and the NBA felt Taylor failed the franchise. It appeared as if Taylor declined the sale because of Minnesota's recent success.

Both Lore and Rodriguez declared Taylor's failure to complete the sale as "buyer's remorse." The minority owners acknowledged they fulfilled their obligations and reaffirmed their commitment to closing the sale.

The Wolves' recent success directly correlated with Lore and Rodriguez's active roles with the franchise. Taylor not selling the team looked like a completely selfish decision.

Interestingly enough, new evidence has emerged regarding Taylor's much-maligned decision. Rather than a selfish act, Taylor might have voided the deal to ensure the future success of the franchise. It's since been reported that Lore and Rodriguez explored cost-cutting measures which would have potentially crippled the future squad.

Currently a luxury-tax team, it's been implied that a potential Towns trade might have been on the table if the new owners were to take over. Conversely, Taylor plans to retain the squad's talent and compete for years to come.

Who's in the wrong here? Is it Taylor, the selfish, controlling owner who's perpetually led Minnesota to a string of bad seasons after failing to display continuity? Or is it Lore and Rodriguez, the owners who apparently can't afford to retain the Wolves' impressive, yet costly roster? Only time will tell.