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SBD/May 6, 2013/Franchises
T'Wolves Owner Taylor Takes Team Off Market, Attempts Buyout Of Limited Partners
Published May 6, 2013
SUCCESSION PLANS: In St. Paul, Charley Walters reported there are "no plans" for Saunders to succeed Taylor as majority owner. Taylor said, "I think that my responsibility as the general partner is the money part. I think his part of the partnership is his knowledge, understanding of the league." Walters noted a "handful of the Timberwolves' limited partners who invested about $1 million each" with Taylor and "want to get out for various reasons, including estate planning, can expect a return of about $5 million" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/4). Taylor on Friday said that he has "made some mistakes in the past." He said, "Perhaps supporting Flip leaving our organization as coach was one of those things I did wrong" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/4).
OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD: In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda wrote Saunders "shuffled around the question when asked if he is done with coaching now that he is leaving an ESPN commentary job for an executive’s job." With Saunders, Taylor "brought back a guy he now regrets firing in 2005, a guy who, while coaching in the CBA, was one of the first people to contact Taylor looking for a job when he bought the team in 1994." Saunders on Friday "bought a piece of the franchise himself because he said he believes in Taylor as well as the financial future of the NBA, the team and the city" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 5/4). Also in Minneapolis, Patrick Reusse wrote the last nine years have "provided the longest stretch of futility ever experienced by a major league sports team in Minnesota." Reusse: "Much of it has been management, and with the Timberwolves, there is always the added element of lousy luck." If coach Rick Adelman stays and Taylor is "able to unite these two basketball brains for the next three or four years, the owner, now 72, will have found the best combination of decision-makers in the mostly sad history of Minnesota’s second NBA franchise" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 5/5).