Kevin Garnett was facing the equivalent of going the length of the court in three seconds for the winning bucket. Now, the retired NBA great’s interest in purchasing the Minnesota Timberwolves has been further complicated by big-money competition from a man who already owns an NFL franchise.
There’s a $1.2 billion price tag on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Glen Taylor has owned the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves since 1994. The 79-year-old businessman paid $88 million at the time, and now he’s ready to cash in. Taylor, estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $2.5 billion, disclosed earlier this summer that he is putting his basketball team up for sale.
Rather than opening up bidding on the team, Taylor has hired a firm to seek out qualified buyers, according to Sportico.com. He is said to be seeking at least $1.2 billion, which is $180 million under what Forbes believes the team is worth.
It’s fairly hefty price for a franchise that made the NBA playoffs eight straight seasons beginning in 1997 but only once since. Much of the damage has been self-inflicted; drafting Kevin Garnett in 1995 was a good early move, but those have been few and far between since.
Kevin Garnett wants to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Garnett spent the first 12 of his 21 NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and retired from the franchise in 2016. Upon hearing in July that owner Glen Taylor was selling, Garnett announced that he was part of a group that was interested in purchasing the T’wolves, who entered the league in 1989.
Garnett, 44, likely doesn’t have the wherewithal to take a majority stake in the team, but he did set an NBA record by earning $334 million in salary during his Hall of Fame career. However, money isn’t the No. 1 issue since Garnett can still run the team with the backing of his investors.
Rather, Garnett’s big hurdle is his relationship with Taylor, whom he referred to as a “snake.” Their relationship has been bad since at least 2007, when the owner accused Garnett of faking an injury.
More recently, Gannett accused Taylor of going back on a deal in 2015 that would have allowed him to buy a minority stake in the Timberwolves. Garnett has maintained a stance that he will not allow the team to retire his number as long as Taylor owns the Timberwolves.
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam enters the picture
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had just one winning season since 2005, and fans may need to get used to more disappointments based upon the latest news. On Sept. 3, Sportico.com reported that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is exploring a bid for the team.
Haslam, whom Forbes reports is worth $2.9 billion, is the latest prospective buyer to surface. The combination of money and his experience operating a major sports franchise may give Haslam a bit of an edge on other potential bidders like retired NBA great Kevin Garnett.
That’s not to say, though, the experience has been positive. Haslam paid $1 billion for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, and they have been at least as inept as Glen Taylor’s Timberwolves since. The Browns have never had a winning season under Haslam and went 4-44 from 2015-17.