Alex Rodriguez Finalizing Deal to Buy the Minnesota Timberwolves

It looks like Alex Rodriguez is ready to get in the basketball business…

The 45-year-old Dominican American former MLB slugger Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore are finalizing a deal to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves from majority owner Glen Taylor, according to ESPN.

Alex Rodriguez

The purchase price in the deal is expected to be in the $1.5 billion range, sources said.

Taylor will continue to hold full control of the team for two years before Rodriguez and Lore take over in 2023.

“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor,” Rodriguez and Lore said in a joint statement on Saturday. “Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization.”

Taylor announced in July 2020 that he was looking for a buyer. The terms of the sale are similar to talks Taylor had in the past year with billionaire Ryan Smith, who walked away from a potential deal to ultimately purchase the Utah Jazz for $1.66 billion in October.

Taylor, 79, saved basketball in Minnesota when he bought the team for $88 million in 1994 after it nearly moved to New Orleans. But he has had an unspectacular ownership run in the 16 years since, reaching the playoffs only once.

Taylor has discussed keeping the Timberwolves in Minnesota with new ownership, but Rodriguez’s ties to Seattle and that city’s desire for a return of an NBA franchise could become an issue in the long term.

Rodriguez was also part of a group that bid unsuccessfully for the New York Mets.

J.J. Barea to Play for Spain’s Estudiantes Team

J.J. Barea is heading to España.

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player, a former Dallas Mavericks guard, has signed a contract to play in Spain’s top division with Estudiantes, the Madrid-based club has announced.

J.J. Barea

Barea played for the Mavericks for 11 seasons, helping the team win the NBA title in 2011. The Mavericks released him in December.

 

Barea played 14 NBA seasons, including three with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 assists in 831 games. 

He’s signed through the end of the season, Estudiantes said. He’s scheduled to arrive in Madrid this week to start training.

Barea told Spanish sports daily Marca in 2011 that his father’s family came from a village in northern Spain.

Gasol Finalizing Two-Year Deal with San Antonio Spurs

Pau Gasol is heading to the Lone Star State

The 35-year-old Spanish basketball star has confirmed reports that he is finalizing a two-year deal ‎with the San Antonio Spurs worth in excess of $30 million, according to ESPN.

Pau Gasol

The deal will feature a player option in the second year, according to ESPN’s sources.

Gasol had emerged as the target of a lucrative free-agency bidding war that had also involved the Portland Trail BlazersMinnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, sources said.

Gasol, who will turn 36 on Wednesday, spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls and gave the team a solid offensive punch down on the blocks and provided a professional presence in the locker room.

Last year he averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds for a Bulls team that missed out on the playoffs.

Barea Agrees to Four-Year, $16 Million Deal with the Dallas Mavericks

J.J. Barea has landed a Maverick deal… 

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player has signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

J.J. Barea

Barea had originally agreed to sign a two-year, $5.7 million deal, which would have given him Dallas’ cap-room exception, but both sides negotiated a new deal after center DeAndre Jordan backed out of his commitment to sign a max contract with the Mavs.

“They knew I wanted to be there for a long time,” Barea told ESPN.com. “They wanted me there for a long time, so we made it happen.”

Barea, who has averaged 8.2 points and 3.4 assists during his nine-year career,

Was a key contributor to the Mavericks’ 2010-11 championship team. He returned to Dallas in the fall after being bought out from the Minnesota Timberwolves for the final season of his four-year, $18 million deal.

He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Mavs after breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent, was an effective fourth guard in his second Dallas stint. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 assists in 17.7 minutes per game last season. His assist-turnover ratio (3.78-1) ranked behind only the Los Angeles Clippers‘ Chris Paul and the Denver Nuggets‘ Ty Lawson among league leaders.

Rivera to Star in Univision’s Upcoming “Cosita linda” Telenovela

Zuleyka Rivera has landed her next telenovela role…

The 25-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former beauty queen, who was Miss Universe 2006, has signed on to star in the Cosita linda, a new telenovela for Univision and Venevision.

Zuleyka Rivera

“I’m very happy to have signed the contract. My participation will be an antagonistic role,” Rivera told reporters after being presented as the new spokesperson for Le’dermis beauty products.

Rivera, who made her acting debut in the Telemundo telenovela Dame Chocolate in 2007, currently portrays Sandra Diaz on the soap opera Rosario.

She resumed her career as an actress after giving birth to her first child, Sebastián José Barea Rivera, with Minnesota Timberwolves point guard José Juan Barea. The baby was born Feb. 17, 2012.

While filming Rosario, Rivera participated as an extra in her first Hollywood film Runner, Runner, which stars Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.

Cosita linda will begin filming in May in Miami.

Timberwolves’ Star Rubio Returns to Courts in Impressive Win

Ricky Rubio has made his triumphant return to the courts…

Playing in a game for the first time in nine months, the 22-year-old Spanish Minnesota Timberwolves star made his comeback in impressive fashion.

Ricky Rubio

Rubio had nine assists and eight points in his 18 minutes of play on Saturday night to help lift the Timberwolves to a 114-106 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Andrei Kirilenko scored five of his 14 points in overtime while Rubio watched from the sideline because of a minutes restriction on his surgically repaired left knee.

“I didn’t feel nothing in the knee,” said Rubio. “I feel great. … I feel 100 percent. I have some issues in other parts now but it’s just like a normal thing.”

Nikola Pekovic scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have won their fourth straight game despite playing without All-Star Kevin Love because of an illness.

O.J. Mayo had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds and Shawn Marion had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who led by 13 points early in the game before Rubio entered the game for the first time since he tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in March.

“He brings us all energy, man. No words can really describe it,” said forward Derrick Williams. “You’ve just got to feel it out there on the court.”

Rubio fed Kirilenko for two free throws, then dived on the floor for a loose ball and later knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 100.

But he missed an open 3-pointer with a few seconds remaining that would have won the game in regulation.

No matter. Kirilenko hit two free throws, scored a three-point play and Pekovic finished the Mavs off with a three-point play of his own.

“It’s amazing. They give me a great gift, that ‘W’ in overtime,” said Rubio. “I think we’re going to do big things with this team this year. Just showing how we played in the overtime … It was amazing.”

More than 18,000 packed into Target Center in anticipation of Rubio’s return and erupted at the mere sight of his face on the video board during pregame festivities. He received a standing ovation when he got off the bench to enter the game for the first time with 1:47 to go in the first quarter.

“He’s a terrific player and he played well,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “You couldn’t tell he’s been out for a year. So give him credit.”

Anthony to Appear in NBA-Themed Special on Disney XD

It’s game on for Carmelo Anthony and his upcoming Disney project…

The 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks will be appearing in a Disney XD special entitled My Life as an NBA Rookie.

Carmelo Anthony

The special, created in partnership with the NBA, will give viewers an inside look at some of the biggest basketball stars in their first year in the league.

Hosted by Billy Unger of Disney XD’s Lab Rats, the special will feature exclusive footage of New Orleans Hornets power forward and No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis practicing for the 2012 Summer Olympics with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

It also will take fans behind the scenes at the NBA Draft Combine and NBA Draft, show how players mentally and physically prepare for training camp and opening night, reveal entertaining rookie duties and show how they sometimes get pranked by returning players — like having their entire car filled with popcorn or being forced to carry around a pink girly knapsack.

Along with Anthony and Davis, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James of the Miami Heat, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder will appear in the special.

The program will premiere at on October 29 at 7:00 pm as part of Disney XD’s sports-themed Nothing But Net Marathon, which also will include episodes of Kickin’ It, Lab Rats and Crash & Bernstein starting at 5:00 p.m.

Barea to Play for the Timberwolves?

Well, shiver me timbers! J.J. Barea could be playing ball for the Minnesota Timberwolves next season, according to multiple reports.

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican basketball star—who helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title this summer— has been offered a four-year contract valued at $19 million by Minnesota, according to ESPN.

JJ Barea Dallas Mavericks

Barea had been pursued by the New York Knicks, but the team just couldn’t make Barea a more competitive offer after dipping under the salary cap to deal for Barea’s former teammate Tyson Chandler. NBA.com sources reported the Knicks offered him a two-year deal.

Meanwhile, Barea’s team since 2006, the Mavericks, only pitched him a one-year deal.

Barea was an important contributor in the Mavericks’ run to the NBA title, especially in the team’s Western Conference Semifinals sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 11.5 points and 5.5 assists and shot 50-percent from the field.