Rock­ets owner Alexan­der sell­ing team

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

HOUS­TON — The Hous­ton Rock­ets are go­ing up for sale.

Rock­ets CEO Tad Brown made the an­nounce­ment Mon­day, hours af­ter owner Les­lie Alexan­der made the de­ci­sion.

“It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Hous­ton Rock­ets for the past 24 years,” Alexan­der said in a 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.”

Alexan­der took over as owner on July 30, 1993, and the Rock­ets went on to win back-to-back ti­tles in 1994 and 1995 be­hind the likes of Ha­keem Ola­ju­won and Clyde Drexler. In 24 sea­sons un­der Alexan­der, the Rock­ets have won 56.9 per­cent of their games, fifth-high­est in the league.

Brown said Alexan­der, 74, had been ap­proached over the years by po­ten­tial buy­ers, but never con­sid­ered it un­til very re­cently.

“I think it’s been some­thing he’s been think­ing about a lit­tle bit,” Brown said. “It can wear on you af­ter so many decades and he’s tired. There are pas­sions in his life now that are be­com­ing more and more clear. His fam­ily, cer­tainly, and his phil­an­thropic ef­forts, what he’ll be able to do with his ad­di­tional time and his re­sources on a global scale is some­thing that he’s very much look­ing for­ward to.”

Brown em­pha­sized that Alexan­der is healthy and his health was not an is­sue in this de­ci­sion.

Brown will be work­ing with the league of­fice while the Rock­ets look for a new owner and there were no plans to hire an out­side firm to help. There is no set timetable for the sale, but Brown said they want to find the right buyer and won’t rush things.

Brown would not say how much they ex­pect to get in the sale. Forbes named Hous­ton the eighth-most valu­able fran­chise, worth an es­ti­mated $1.65 bil­lion, in its an­nual val­u­a­tion of NBA teams in Fe­bru­ary.

In­cluded in the sale will be Clutch City Sports and En­ter­tain­ment, which puts on non-bas­ket­ball shows and con­certs at the Toy­ota Cen­ter.

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