Talked-out Taylor shifts to season

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 2, 2011 - 12:03 AM

The Wolves owner is optimistic about seeing his young team play, thanks to the deal he helped strike as chair of the Board of Governors.

hide

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Somebody asked Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor how he was doing Wednesday.

"I'm better, thank you," he answered simply.

After weeks of jetting off to New York for contentious negotiating sessions that sometimes stretched long past his bedtime, the NBA Board of Governors chairman is back in Mankato, Minn., most nights now.

He is home now that a settlement with the league's players ended a 149-day labor lockout the owners deemed worthwhile in the name of fixing what they called a broken system and making small-market teams more competitive and economically viable.

Was it? Will it?

"We certainly didn't get everything we wanted and asked for, and that's part of negotiations," Taylor said. "I don't think this guarantees anybody that you're going to break even or that you're going to make money, but I think we moved a big step towards it. In the end, we wanted to get a settlement and we wanted to play, so we compromised."

NBA owners won concessions from players totaling $3 billion over the next 10 years, but didn't get a system that will prevent Dwight Howard and Chris Paul from leaving Orlando and New Orleans for New York or Los Angeles in the next year.

Still, the new deal -- players went from getting 57 percent of revenue in the last agreement to basically a 50-50 split this time -- looks like a slam dunk for the owners, right?

"People might have said that after the last collective bargaining agreement, too," Taylor said. "In effect, as the years went on and the economy changed on us significantly from beginning to end, it became very costly for the owners. But that wasn't the projection going into it, so who knows, you know?"

Last week's late-night compromise saved a 66-game season, set to begin on Christmas Day.

"I just know if we would have missed a whole season, it would have been significant," he said when asked how much damage has been done by missing the season's first two months. "We're hopeful that our fans will understand. We're just happy that we're back to play for them. I'm hopeful it's not significant because we will get going at Christmas, if we get this worked out."

Taylor said he believes fans will come back to Target Center to see a young team that created buzz last summer by adding rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams as well as new coach Rick Adelman.

"I think for the Timberwolves there is renewed interest in seeing this young group of people get together with the new coach," he said. "So I'm very optimistic. That part will serve us really well, that people will look forward to seeing us.

"I still don't think anybody's lost that. I think we're going to do all right."

Fourteen months ago, Taylor was asked how much longer he wanted to continue to own a franchise he bought in 1994. He said he wanted to fulfill his work as the NBA's Board of Governors chairman and see through the negotiating of a new labor agreement.

On Wednesday, Taylor -- recently re-elected as chairman -- again was asked how long he wants to own a team that under his guidance reached the 2004 Western Conference playoffs but hasn't sniffed the playoffs and now is on its fifth coach and second general manager since then.

"I'm excited right now, now that we have the agreement," said Taylor, 70. "I'm excited that it'll enhance our chances to be competitive. I'm a very competitive guy and I like that."

He is one month removed from celebrating a WNBA championship with the Lynx team that he also owns after years of playoffs missed and high draft picks selected.

It was an experience that reminded him of that emotional 2004 playoff run led by league MVP Kevin Garnett.

"I think my experience that year showed me where that could have gone and how that could have maybe gone," Taylor said. "That was a very exciting time for us. I think that was the first time that I saw that and experience how that might be, and now the Lynx winning a championship probably reinforced it."

He knows well the joys of winning and the heartbreak of losing a lot. The Wolves have won 17 and 15 games the past two seasons.

"It's hard for a lot of teams, isn't it?" he asked.

Now, though, comes the easier part. Or at least the fun part, compared to months and months of long, tedious labor negotiations.

"This is more like the political disagreements we had," Taylor said, chuckling and comparing the last several months to his former career as a Minnesota state senator. "Those things went one and on and on and it just seemed like you were hopeful to get it resolved like you did in the end. This isn't quite like my business negotiations. There's nothing quite like it. It's unique, I will say that."

Note: The Wolves will play Milwaukee in their two preseason games, according to a league source. The dates are yet to be determined, but will be sometime between Dec. 16-23, if the new deal gets finalized in time for camps to open Dec. 9.

KEY NBA DATES

Wednesday: Teams were cleared to begin contacting playr agents.

Thursday: Players will be allowed to return to team facilities.

Dec. 9: Scheduled start of training camp and free-agent signing period.

Dec. 25: 66-game regular season scheduled to begin.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 Bottom 8th Inning
San Francisco 3
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 3 Top 8th Inning
Seattle 5
Cleveland 9 Bottom 8th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Milwaukee 2 Top 8th Inning
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 Bottom 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Kansas City 2
Colorado 2 Top 9th Inning
Arizona 4
NY Mets 1 Top 3rd Inning
Washington 0
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 58 2nd Half 8:08
MD-Eastern Shore 76
Niagara 22 2nd Half
Siena 34
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 2nd Half 0:45
Tennessee St 78
George Mason 28 2nd Half 12:01
Saint Josephs 50
Western Carolina 38 2nd Half 11:20
East Tenn St 40
Arizona 22 1st Half 3:24
UCLA 32
Texas State 34 2nd Half
Appalachian St 34
TX-Arlington 30 1st Half 0:43
Georgia Southern 12
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4 1st Half 15:11
Coppin State 6
Portland 10 1st Half 13:26
Santa Clara 12
Norfolk State 6 1st Half 14:11
Hampton 10
NC A&T 18 1st Half 12:03
NC Central 6
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close