The Minnesota Timberwolves kicked off their 2021 media day with an in-person press conference to introduce new limited partners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez.
Reporting live from 2021 Timberwolves media day, where new ownership is expected to outline their plan to get this organization’s affairs in order. pic.twitter.com/wjUfYAc27E— Kyle Theige (@KyleTheige) September 27, 2021
The event was streamed live on the Timberwolves website, but for those of you who missed it, the press conference also included current majority owner Glen Taylor, who kicked things off by addressing the crowd. Confirming what many of us thought, Taylor acknowledged that because of the ongoing legal situation revolving around last week’s dismissal of Gersson Rosas (as well as another Timberwolves staffer), neither he nor Lore/Rodriguez would comment publicly on that situation. Making sure to cover ALL of his bases (and assets), Glen also reminded the crowd that no member of the organization is allowed to comment on a player currently under contract with another team (which meant that none of us could ask him where he thinks Ben Simmons will ultimately end up living in the Twin Cities).
Because of these two stipulations, the press conference itself was fairly tame. A majority of the questions were directed at both Lore and Rodriguez and focused on who exactly will be making the decisions (both business and basketball) going forward now that the two men are officially onboard. Both Lore and Rodriguez emphasized that this is still Glen Taylor’s team when it comes to final decisions, and that they will continue to use these next two years to learn about everything (and everyone) that makes up this organization — from the players on the roster to Target Center itself and everything in between (even the shower heads).
Speaking of Target Center! One of the more interesting questions posed to the new limited partners was the geographical future of both the Timberwolves and Lynx. While both Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez had declined to publicly make any official statements regarding this topic prior to today’s event, that stance changed on Monday when Alex Rodriguez quickly addressed the topic while onstage:
New Minnesota Timberwolves owner, Alex Rodriguez: “We have no plans to move. Our plan is to be right here.”— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) September 27, 2021
Marc Lore mentioned the opportunity to build a new stadium here in Minnesota.
Lore followed-up both during the press conference as well as during a media scrum after the event, confirming that he had already purchased a new place in Minneapolis and was extremely excited about the untapped potential that this specific market has. He went on to explain that this latest acquisition (the Timberwolves and Lynx) is the biggest “purchase” he and Alex Rodriguez has made since becoming business partners, emphasizing their desire to be fully engaged and have a hands-on approach going forward.
While the future of Target Center itself was not addressed during the public press conference, Lore did add during the media scrum that the opportunity to build a new stadium here in Minnesota is something “in the back of their (his and Rodriguez’s) minds,” which is the latest signal that this topic will likely become more and more on the front of our minds as the ownership transition process moves forward.
The final key topic addressed this morning was the current state of the team’s basketball operations, which are now led by Executive Vice President Sachin Gupta. Mincing no words, all three representatives this morning — Glen Taylor, Marc Lore, and Alex Rodriguez — made it known that they fully believed in newly promoted Sachin Gupta and the vision he has for the team:
Glen Taylor on Sachin Gupta:— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) September 27, 2021
“I’m confident we’re set for the future.”
After the press conference concluded, Marc Lore expanded on his belief in Sachin Gupta during a media scrum with the local media:
Marc Lore continues to emphasize his belief in Sachin Gupta, saying he (Sachin) possesses many of the core values that Lore and Rodriguez want from a president of basketball operations.— Kyle Theige (@KyleTheige) September 27, 2021
While a cynic may point out that comments like these are naturally expected in a setting like this, it was really interesting to actually be in-person for an event like this and see just how the players, coaches, and even new ownership interacted with Sachin Gupta during his first major day on the job. It’s clear that Sachin has been empowered by ownership — both new and old — to do what he does best and take this job opportunity and run with it.
Only time will tell how all of these new figureheads will directly affect the overall wins and losses of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but after yet another week of pure chaos and dysfunction, Monday’s press conference did attempt to provide something that this franchise drastically needs: stability.