The Minnesota Timberwolves have been fined $250,000 by the NBA for violating league rules against arranging or paying for offseason workouts outside of that team’s home market, the league announced Monday. The violations took place in September. The workouts took place in Miami, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they were centered around the home of former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. The team reportedly ended a week of workouts with a dinner at his home.
Rodriguez and business partner Marc Lore agreed to buy the Timberwolves from longtime owner Glen Taylor in May. The two are still technically only limited partners, but will assume control of the franchise from Taylor in the coming years. Rodriguez has been spotted attending games in Minnesota this season, though, and is seemingly beginning to take a bigger role within the organization as ownership transitions to him and Lore.
While players often organize offseason workouts of this nature themselves, league rules prohibit teams from being involved or assisting in them in any way, even if the workouts themselves are considered voluntary. The only exception to these rules are practice sessions and workouts connected to Summer League, but with the Timberwolves sessions taking place in September, Summer League was already long over.
The Timberwolves are 4-8 thus far this season, hardly the sort of start that the team hoped for. Now they’ll have to pay a hefty fine for workouts that ultimately haven’t helped them much thus far this season.