Rockets owner decides to sell team

Ross Houston
July 18, 2017

Alexander bought the team for $85 million back in 1993, and Forbes recently valued the franchise at roughly $1.65 billion, so he figures to get a very nice return on investment here.

The Houston Rockets are up for sale, team president and CEO Ted Brown announced on Monday.

The planned sale comes as franchise values across major professional sports are skyrocketing. They also recently signed James Harden to a record $228 million, four-year deal.

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. Under his ownership, Silver said Alexander created a culture of excellence with strong management.

"It's something he's been thinking about a little bit", Brown said. And now they're for sale.

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.

Brown will oversee the effort to sell the team in consultation with the league.

Local billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta told KHOU 11 Sports' Matt Musil, "Of course I'm interested", and owning the team is "a great opportunity". Alexander said he will continue to support the charities he has made commitments to through the years. That could shoot the team's evaluation up even higher than the Forbes estimation.

"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", Alexander said.

"I've made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place", Alexander said. The team quickly won back-to-back National Basketball Association championships thanks in part to Hakeem Olajuwon, a Hall of Fame center who guided the team for the better part of two decades after being drafted in 1984.

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