Houston Rockets owner Alexander is selling team, CEO says

Paola Ditto
Luglio 18, 2017

Houston Rockets owner, Leslie Alexander and NBA Legend, Hakeem Olajuwon talk during the Yao Ming jersey retirement ceremony during the Chicago Bulls game against the Houston Rockets on February 3, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Purchasing the team for NZ$115 million, Alexander is expected to make quite the profit, with Forbes putting a NZ$2.25 billion valuation on the franchise. The value of the franchise has grown steadily since the Hakeem Olajuwon era, thanks in large part to Yao Ming's worldwide appeal.

Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown announced on Monday at Toyota Center that owner Leslie Alexander has expressed his intent to sell the franchise along with Clutch City Sports and Entertainment after 24 years of ownership. "I think (Alexander) had a real good conversation with his family and close, close friends", Brown said.

According to Brown, Alexander said owning a team "can wear on you after so many decades" and that he wants to focus on his philanthropy work and family.

"He's one of the longest-tenured owners, one of the most successful and certainly one of the most influential", Brown said. "I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years". Brown will oversee the sale process, Alexander said.

The Rockets have already made huge moves this offseason, signing James Harden to the largest contract extension in National Basketball Association history and trading for Chris Paul. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute to a 55-win team. not to mention that James Harden just recently signed a record four-year extension. A management team is in place with long-term contracts. The league played two preseason games in China previous year, both featuring the Rockets.

This news comes right as Carmelo Anthony to Houston trade rumors have heated up. That could shoot the team's evaluation up even higher than the Forbes estimation.

"The Houston community has been home to me", Alexander said."I'll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team".

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