After having had a week of promotion after bringing together two stars like guard James Harden and point guard Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets surprised today with the news that the team is for sale.
After 24 years in the ownership of businessman Leslie Alexander, who bought the franchise at the start of the 1993 season after paying $ 85 million, he now hopes to sell it for $ 1.65 billion.
That was the last value they had, according to Forbes magazine, which placed them in eighth place on the list of the 30 teams of the NBA with annual revenues of $ 244 million.
Through a statement, Alexander says that the time has come to make a decision that is not easy, but that it is the best for everyone.
“I have made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and to do so knowing that the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and the management team in place. CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team, ”he said.
The still owner of the Rockets admits that the experiences of the last 24 years have always filled him with great satisfaction.
“It has been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” stresses Alexander.
“I have had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, have been named to the All-Star and All-Star teams.NBA, enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and done by both our franchise and fans.
He had a special mention for the Houston community which he always considered his true home.
“The Houston community has been my home, and I will continue to support the charities that I have made commitments to over the years. I will always hold a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team. “
The Rockets won the title of the NBA in the first two seasons after Alexander bought the team, when center Hakeem Olajuwon hit his prime and Michael Jordan had retired from basketball to play professional baseball.
In 24 seasons under Alexander, the Rockets have won 56.9 percent of their games, the fifth-highest in the league.
Brown said Alexander, 74, had been contacted over the years by potential buyers but never considered it until very recently.
The news has been received with surprise within the world of investments in sports projects and franchises because Alexander had never publicly expressed interest in selling and less now that he has just formed a squad with aspirations to fight again for the league title.
Brown said he will work with the league office to make things easier as the team searches for a new owner.
There is no set schedule for the sale, but Brown said he wants to find the right buyer and will not rush the process but on the contrary, he will meet the times required for this multi-million dollar sale process.
Interest in the Rockets may not be limited to the United States, as they are the number one team in Asia due to the popularity of former All-Star Yao Ming.
The Rockets included in the summer league that takes place in Las Vegas (Nevada) another promise of Chinese basketball, the 21-year-old center Zhou Qi, whom they selected in the second round of the 2016 university draw and this summer they have signed for four seasons.
The Rockets also own the rights to Spanish point guard Sergio Lull, whom they want to reach the NBABut the 29-year-old Mallorcan player, who plays for Real Madrid, is still not interested in making the leap to the best professional basketball in the world. EFE