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Jazz owner Ryan Smith was close to buying Timberwolves, but adamant wife intervened

Jazz, Ashley Smith, Donovan Mitchell, Ryan Smith

New Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith was formally approved by the NBA board of governors as an owner on Friday. As it turns out, however, the tech mogul had originally set his sights on the Minnesota Timberwolves before ending up buying the Jazz franchise from the Miller family for a whopping $1.66 billion.

Apparently, Smith’s wife, Ashley, had a gut feel that purchasing the Wolves would not be in their best interest. True enough, Ryan listened. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Smith shared how being life-long Jazz supporters was what motivated his wife to convince him about not buying the Minnesota franchise:

“With my wife, something wasn’t right. She was putting her foot down,” Smith told Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “She was like, ‘You know we’re Jazz fans, right? That’s what we do, and I’m not moving.’ She doesn’t put her foot down very often, but it was a nice reminder that I was kind of getting caught up in this other world because I liked the business side of it.”

The billionaire couple, who operate a Provo, Utah-based tech company named Qualtrics, have been loyal Jazz fans for a very, very long time. As such, one cannot help but think that their purchase of the franchise was destined. Smith himself could not agree any more:

“Adam Silver said some people get the rare, rare opportunity to get a piece or even an entire NBA team,” Smith said. “He said, ‘But no one, no one gets their team.’ For me to be in a spot here where we get to start this new chapter with our team is why this is so unique, but it’s also daunting, right?”

Smith hit the nail in the head here. It’s not going to be an easy task, but given how much passion he has with the team, it appears that the Jazz franchise is in good hands.