After 24 years of ownership and winning two NBA championship titles, Leslie Alexander announced his intention to sell the Houston Rockets on July 17. It will possibly become a record breaking sales in the history of American sports industry.
Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown made the surprising announcement about Alexander’s intention to sell the franchise on Monday. According to the Houston Rockets’ official site, Alexander also put Brown in charge of coordinating the entire sales process, including to contact the NBA and comply to the league’s regulation.
Alexander admitted that he had a great pleasure to own the franchise since he purchased the Rockets in 1993 for $85 million. Within the first season after he took ownership, the Houston Rockets won back-to-back NBA title in 1994 and 1995. Those were the first and the only NBA championship titles the Houston Rockets ever won after the team was founded in 1967.
“I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city,” Alexander said in his statement.
In his 24 years of ownership, the Houston Rockets have become one of the most solid franchises in the NBA. Alexander was known for his style to constantly rebuild the team’s roster by pursuing star players and he successfully brought the Rockets to become the powerhouse in the league. The Houston Rockets are also listed as one of the most valuable NBA franchises according to Forbes with the present market value of $1.65 billion.
One of the most important trades in the history of Hoston Rockets was the deal with Portland Trail Blazers in February 1995, when the Rockets acquired Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and sent Otis Thorpe to the Rip City. Prior to the trade, the Houston Rockets were in the slump during the 1994-95 regular season and about to give up their pursuit of the championship. However, when Drexler joined in the team, the Rockets made an incredibly strong performance in the playoffs to advance to the 1995 NBA Finals and won the championship after defeating Orlando Magic.
The latest blockbuster deal in the Houston Rockets is to sign point guard Chris Paul last month for five years in a $207 million contract. CP3 will bring superb offensive force in the Rockets’ backcourt with James Harden. In the international market, the Houston Rockets also have a huge number of fans in China, the biggest international market. Currently, NBA viewers in China reached a staggering number of with 1.2 billion people.
Since the Houston Rockets signed Yao Ming in 2002, the Rockets became the most popular NBA franchise in China. Until now, during every off-season tour, the Houston Rockets always visit their fans in China. The team also maintain the close connection with their Chinese fans by signing another Chinese player, Zhou Qi last year.
With the current market value, Alexander will gain a huge profit by putting the Houston Rockets on sale. For the comparison, before the sales of Los Angeles Clippers at $2 billion, Forbes estimated the market value of the franchise was only $575 million. The Houston Rockets sales will become a record breaking deal in the history of American sports industry.
[Featured Image by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]