The Houston Rockets are for sale. After owning the team for almost 25 years, Leslie Alexander is ready to sell, a decision that shocked many insiders connected to the NBA, Yahoo Sports reported.
“It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” Alexander said in his official statement.
“I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans.”
As for the reason for the sale, Rockets CEO Tad Brown said that the demanding role has been tiring for Alexander, especially after so many years.
“He’s just been tired,” Brown said at a press conference, announcing the sale.
“I’m sure many of you [reporters] who know him well can probably sense that. It’s a grind. It’s a grind. And even now, things are ratcheted up even that much more with the expectations [that come with adding All-Star point guard Chris Paul to MVP runner-up James Harden on a 55-win roster] and the ability to really go deep and compete.”
As we mentioned earlier the news of the impending sale of the Houston rockets came as a big surprise since NBA franchise sales are normally preceded by lots of rumors.
“Don’t remember last time franchise being for sale shocked the league,” senior writer at ESPN, Zach Lowe tweeted. “Usually rumors/reports well in advance. This came at press conference!”
ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski echoed that sentiment on Twitter as well, adding that there are people with the Rocket who didn’t know the team would be up for sale.
“Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the Houston Rockets didn’t only surprise the rest of the NBA, it surprised those within the franchise,” he tweeted.
According to NBA.com, Leslie Alexander bought The Houston Rockets in 1993 for $85 million but the team is currently valued at $1.65 billion. The team won consecutive NBA Championships in the mid-nineties and have consistently gone after big stars to fill their roster. During Alexander’s tenure as owner, the Rockets acquired Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady and James Harden and current all-star point-guard Chris Paul. Most recently James Harden signed the most lucrative contract extension in NBA history at 228 million.
Now the main question is: who will buy the Houston Rockets?
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 17, 2017
The next Rockets owner needs to be ***Flawless. https://t.co/RI6GpMacz7
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) July 17, 2017
There are a couple of high-powered billionaires from Houston who people are speculating could be potential buyers. One of them is the current Houston Texans owner, Bill McNair. But, according to SB Nation, he has made it clear that he’s not interested in buying since he’s focused on taking his current team to the championship.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 17, 2017
Beyonce is another wealthy contender whose name is being thrown around on social as a potential new owner of The Rockets. She is a Houston native and it’s clear from her music that she is very loyal to her city. The “Flawless” singer who happens to be the highest paid musician of 2016 according to Billboard, has also been developing her investments. As TIME reported, she currently owns her own production company, Parkwood Entertainment, and owns stakes in a sports drink business called WTRMLN WTR, which was sold at all of her concert venues and pop up shops during her last tour. Is Mrs Carter ready to add The Houston Rockets to that list? Only time will tell.
Who do you think will end up buying The Houston Rockets? Let us know in the comments below.
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[Featured Images by Duane Prokop, Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images]