August 1994 multi-billionaire Glen Taylor purchased the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it was nearly thirty years ago of mediocrity. Sure, they have had a few playoff appearances and one Western Conference Finals appearance. He has made more bad or yet odd decisions than right or smart decisions. He’s not the first owner of a sports franchise to do such a thing, and he will not be the last. I am going to give you a little bit of a perspective on where I am coming from.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ of 600 1st Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have played 2,084 regular-season games since the 1994-95 season, and they have a winning percentage of 42.18%, that is 1,205 losses and 879 wins. If you are keeping score, and just so you know, I will have more statistics.
I can’t just focus on the negative; he has made some decent decisions in his nearly three-decade tenure as the owner. His Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett, and we know that was the right decision. He hired Flip Saunders twice; he fired Flip during 2004-05, the year previously Flip coached the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals. Now, some will say Kevin McHale fired him, sure, but McHale is not doing that without Taylor’s approval. He drafted Karl-Anthony Towns and Kevin Love, and he traded Andrew Wiggins.
That’s not much to brag about when owning a sports franchise for nearly thirty years. It’s too bad Taylor did not run this business like he runs his other businesses. If you ever received a wedding invitation in your life, his company is the one that probably made the card and sold the card. He employees over 12,000 people and has more than 80 subsidiaries within his company. He also owns the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other newspapers throughout the country.
The problem with Taylor is Timberwolves fans deserve better, and he knows it. Taylor was banned from the Timberwolves because of an illegal signing. Taylor signed power forward Joe Smith to a secret deal, and it cost his Timberwolves a lot, so much so, you could say this is 90-95% the reason this team is mediocre to this day. Taylor had an agreement with Smith and his agent where Smith would sign three low-end contracts to benefit the Timberwolves. The contracts would have been worth over $80 million if the NBA never found out about this secret. It wasn’t a very well kept secret; that part is on Joe Smith’s agent. This hurt the Timberwolves franchise in so many ways, and he is the one who did this. I think it is a miracle he has season ticket owners to this day. Taylor is the only NBA majority owner other than former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, either banned or suspended for more than one month. However, there have been some minority owners who have been suspended or downright banned from the NBA. I will say about the Joe Smith signing because this happened all the time and probably still happens to this day. The feeling on why the Timberwolves were dealt with heavy penalties is because word leaked to people outside of the Timberwolves, Joe Smith, and his agent Andrew Miller.
It turned out that Miller is the reason this news came out. Miller had a falling out with the agency he worked for. Miller was facing a lawsuit from his former employer, and because of the lawsuit, news rolled out about the Joe Smith signing. The controversies surrounding Andrew Miller is something you might see in a movie one day. There is a documentary that aired on HBO last year called “The Scheme.” That’s a whole different story with his businesses or business matters he had ties to. Miller is connected with the big 2017 FBI college basketball corruption case. This is the case that ended up costing Rick Pitino his job at Louisville.
That’s just one example, the second example I have is actually my favorite example of why Taylor and the Timberwolves are a mess. This example is known as the David Khan experience. Khan will go down as either the worst General Manager of all time or at least second place. During Khan’s tenure, the Timberwolves went 89-223 record. The 2009 Draft he and the Timberwolves had will go down as legendary. The Timberwolves had the fifth and sixth, first-round picks. They used their first pick to draft PG Ricky Rubio fifth overall. Khan’s next pick was another PG and it was Johnny Flynn. Why would he take Johnny Flynn if he just drafted Ricky Rubio, well that was because the Timberwolves did not know when Rubio would be able to join their team because he had contractual obligations to his team in Spain. The Golden State Warriors picked seventh and they chose a PG, from Davidson University named Stephen Curry. Now, is this Glen Taylor’s fault. Yes, yes it is his fault because he hired the $%^&* guy. Here do yourself a favor and read this outstanding article https://medium.com/@CorbanfordNBA/david-kahn-a-complete-analysis-of-one-of-the-worst-general-managers-in-nba-history-c6664f13a61b. This might tell you another reason why Glen Taylor needs to sell this team.
This is my shortest article and the only reason it is because what else is there to say. Just sell the team.