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A-Rod, Lore call T-Wolves ownership spat 'slap in the face'

David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Things are getting messy in Minnesota.

A day after owner Glen Taylor announced that minority owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore didn't exercise their option to complete the purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx in time, the duo claim the spat is getting hostile.

"We can be in this (fight) for five years, 10 years, whatever. We're not going to let go," Rodriguez told The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania.

Rodriguez and Lore said prospective new owners are eligible for a 90-day extension according to the NBA's vetting process. Both indicated surprise at Taylor's announcement Thursday.

"We thought we were on good terms and we had a good relationship and they were happy with all the time that we've put into the team to help get the team to where it is today," Lore said.

"They seemed appreciative of that, and then boom. It's really like a nuclear bomb went off, completely unexpected and very, very disappointing."

A dispute over a private owners' suite in the bowels of Minnesota's Target Center has become a microcosm of the spat. Rodriguez and Lore, who acted as limited partners under Taylor's employ as part of an ownership succession plan, had a suite with luxury amenities built for the two to entertain clients and conduct business on game nights.

Taylor and his wife, Becky, said they considered the suite an unnecessary extravagance.

"(It) was more of their priority that they had that room than, 'Who are we trading for?'" he said.

Rodriguez called Taylor's comments "disingenuous" and unbefitting of a team owner. "I would expect to hear that from like, a teenager, not from someone who's so mature and so astute and who has been so successful," Rodriguez said.

Taylor said that Rodriguez and Lore are no longer permitted in the executive owners' suite, nor can they contact T-Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly or his staff.

"It feels very much like a slap in the face and much more personal than even just about the money," Lore said.

Rodriguez and Lore claim that Taylor pulled out of the deal because the Timberwolves' valuation has increased amid a stellar season. Taylor initially agreed on a $1.5-billion asking price when Rodriguez and Taylor approached him in April 2021.

The two parties had agreed to a gradual trajectory toward majority ownership, with a 20% first-time payment followed by a second 20% payment in 2023 and the final 40% by the March 27 deadline.

"We will use every ounce of effort here to enforce the contract that Glen broke," Lore said. "So that means time, capital, whatever means necessary."

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