Taylor Announces He's Keeping Team, Will Buy Out Limited Partners

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Glen Taylor Announces He's Keeping Timberwolves

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor announced at Friday’s news conference introducing Flip Saunders as the new team President of Basketball Operations and limited partner that he has decided not to sell the team and will continue on as the team’s majority owner.

Taylor stated publicly before the season he was interested in potentially selling the team if a group came forward that fit his criteria, including continuing to work as a team partner for the next three seasons, and would agree to keep the team in Minnesota. He maintained that mindset throughout the year, he said, fielding offers but never finding the right fit. During his conversations with Saunders over the past year, in which Saunders attempted to come forward with two groups looking to enter into minority ownership of the team, he began to change his mind.

“I think it would be accurate to say I had seller’s remorse,” Taylor said. “All of a sudden, I realized, well, what if I do sell this team? I like coming to games. I like being part of this team.”

Taylor said the reason he began seeking a transition in ownership was to ensure the team’s long-term security within the state as well as offer the team’s 12 minority owners a chance to get their money out of their investment. He said he’s offered to buy out any minority owners who want to move on from the team at this point, expecting about half to do so and half to stay.

He said he is interested in finding people "who live in Minnesota, who have a keen interest in our state and this organization, to come in as limiteds."

Taylor bought the team on March 23, 1995, as the previous ownership began looking at a possible relocation process to New Orleans. He’s overseen the franchise during their eight postseason berths and trip to the 2004 Western Conference Finals—all of which happened while Saunders was head coach.

Both Taylor and Saunders said the revelation for Taylor to continue his ownership of the team evolved over the time the two discussed the team’s future over the past year.

“That time we talked about 4-5 weeks ago, I said, ‘You really don’t want to sell the team, do you?’ He said, ‘I’m having fun, and I see where the league is going.’” Saunders said. “There is going to be a new TV deal coming up that’s going to go through the roof. There’s a lot of good things happening in the league. I said to him, ‘If you’re looking and you’re not going to sell, would you look for another limited partner?’ He had interest in that, so that’s where we’re at.”

Taylor, the namesake of Taylor Corporation based in Mankato, said his priority is ensuring the businesses he owns stay in Minnesota—maintaining job security for his employees in the state. His other businesses are able to maintain functionality through a foundation, but the NBA requires a majority owner. He said there will be another announcement on the ownership front in a couple weeks.

He said another factor in his decision is the team’s state on the court. The Wolves didn’t have the season he expected this season—largely due to injuries—and he said he wants to see the organization get back to the success it once enjoyed.

It seems like if I ever sell it, I’d want to be close to the top,” Taylor said.

At Target Center on Friday, as Saunders was re-introduced as part of the Wolves’ family, the mood in the building felt as though the organization was moving in that direction.

Taylor said he expects big things to come.

“I think someday it will be figured out that when Glen Taylor didn’t sell the team in 2013 and kept it till 2023, 10 years later, that he made a lot of money,” Taylor said. “And I’ll tell you most of that money is going to good causes. It’s not going to Glen Taylor, it’s not going to be his family. It’s going to good causes in Minnesota. I think Minnesotans would say he made the right decision.”

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