New Minnesota Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have promised a commitment to diversity when they fully take over in 2023. “I think that is obviously something I believe in very strongly,” said Lore to local reporters on Sept. 27 at the team’s downtown Minneapolis training facility.
During most of the 20-minute press conference and media scrums afterward, it was all Wolves all the time except for the MSR’s questions on diversity and on the other team Lore and Rodriguez purchased, the four-time WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx.
“One of the things that Alex and I were really excited about when we heard about this opportunity [to buy the two teams] was the fact that the NBA team also owned a WNBA team,” responded Lore. “That was a big, important reason that we’re excited about it.
“We’ve had a chance to talk to the coach and meet the players,” he pointed out. “Both teams have incredible potential, and I’m all here to make history and do great things together.”
Back to diversity: “I think you get the best answers when you have diversity of thought and diverse people around the table,” added Lore.
Later, he reaffirmed his commitment to diversity: “Diversity has been one of the reasons why we’ve been able to create such successful cultures and organizations that I’ve started, and diversity is one of the key components.”
The subject of diversity was also part of our earlier phone interview with Lore. Since 1999 he has started and later sold companies—he sold one to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2014, and three years later in 2011, he sold another company to Amazon for $545 million.
He quickly confessed that he’s always wanted to own a sports team. In a couple of years, he will own two.
“I grew up a big sports fan in Staten Island, New York,” recalled Lore. His family loved sports and he played several himself while going up. “Like every kid at the time, you dream about calling the shots, being a GM if you are not going to play,” he said. “To do something like this [is an] incredible, incredible opportunity. It’s fun…”
Asked about owning the Timberwolves—an inconsistent, successful team on the court over the years—Lore said, “I think we have an opportunity to build something bigger than a championship team. We will have the ability to help bring together the community and have an impact on the country.
“The country’s at a challenging point, more divided than ever,” he continued. “By focusing on the fundamental values and living them by the team puts us in a really unique position.
“We have a real chance here to build the foundation correctly, starting with a set of values and a mission statement, living these values and living with purpose. That’s what we are really focused on,” said Lore.
“We’re going through this exercise of figuring out what the three values are right now,” concluded Lore. “One of them definitely is going to be along the lines of fairness. That’s super important to me, and I think it’s the magic formula for a successful organization, no matter what type of organization.”