Fans who think the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx will leave the state as soon as new owners gain control of the operation have likely underestimated Glen Taylor.
The men's team, the National Basketball Association's Timberwolves, didn't win nearly enough for Taylor to ever be a fan favorite. Yet he has achieved one of his main goals when deciding to buy the NBA team 27 years ago — because the franchise is still here.
And even though he's moving toward selling a controlling interest, he's confident the teams will stay put. There's good reason to believe him, too.
Taylor bought control of the Wolves after a dramatic period in the team's short history that included a firm agreeing to buy the team for more than $150 million and move it to New Orleans.
Taylor emerged as a buyer in 1994 at a purchase price of about $88 million. The NBA blocked the New Orleans deal and then that fall approved Taylor's purchase.
"When I did the purchase, I had no idea values would go up and I could make some money off this thing," Taylor said this week, a few days after news broke that he had reached an agreement with retired professional baseball star Alex Rodriguez and retailing entrepreneur Marc Lore to buy in at a reported valuation of $1.5 billion.
Taylor had been looking for a new controlling owner — it's that season of life for an entrepreneur about to turn 80.