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Timberwolves set to lose $25 million

Feb 26, 2010, 1:09 PM EDT

Minnesota has decided to rebuild — to gut their roster, build through the draft, and lose some games in the process — in the middle of a recession.

Smart basketball. Bad business.

The Wolves have won only 14 of 59 games this season, and while their attendance is up over last year’s anemic figures, the team expects to lose close to $25 million, and some of the minority owners would like to sell the part of the team they own. However, owner Glen Taylor said he doesn’t have any thoughts of either selling or moving the team, and he is confident that the present management will eventually have the Wolves competing with the best teams in the NBA.

“Nope, I’m too competitive to give up,” said Taylor, who also is in deep red ink operating the WNBA’s Lynx but believes that professional women’s basketball should get its opportunity.

Sun Tzu talked about how winning a war has to start with fully committed backing from the government and people at home. Winning in the NBA has to start with the ownership — if they undercut the management, everything else is moot. See Clippers, Los Angeles.

Taylor is doing it right. He’s giving it a chance to work. He’s doing what the Lakers and Spurs owners do, instituting a plan from the top down. It takes time for young players to develop. It takes time for a team to become good at running the triangle offense Kurt Rambis has installed. It takes time for the wins to come. It takes longer for the fans to come around and realize that their team is pretty good.

David Kahn and Rambis may not work out. But if Taylor remains this steady at the helm, the Timberwolves will work out. And that will turn out to be good business.

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