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After 24 years of ownership, Les Alexander is selling the Houston Rockets.
Alexander made the somewhat surprising announcement in a press release Monday.
“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. “CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team.”
Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver had this to say about Alexander.
“Well-respected around the league, he has been an active and influential owner whose vision helped to grow the game globally, especially in China,” Silver said, also in a release. “Moreover, his philanthropy speaks just as powerfully as his ownership, with local libraries, women’s centers and homeless shelters all benefitting from his generosity.”
So what does an ownership change mean for the Rockets? Not often a whole lot, unless you’re one of the people behind the scenes. Some owners prefer to bring in their own people when it comes to corporate sales, marketing, security, and so on.
But the jobs of general manager Daryl Morey, coach Mike D’Antoni and many others on the basketball staff likely won’t be too disrupted — provided the Rockets keep winning. Most of those people, like the players, are under contract, and new owners aren’t often in a big rush to pay them off, just because.
Here’s more out of Houston:
- Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta told the Houston Chronicle he has an interest in buying the Rockets. “I definitely have an interest,” he told the newspaper. “Just hope it doesn’t go for crazy numbers. I’ve never really wanted to own a professional team outside of Houston. Houston is my hometown.” Fertitta is the founder and CEO of the the Landry’s restaurant chain.
- The Rockets have officially signed free agent forward Tarik Black, according to the team. This is Black’s second stint with the Rockets — a stint with the Lakers sandwiched in between. The Rockets used their mid-level exception ($3.2 million) to sign Black, according to ESPN.
- The Rockets are expected to make another major push for New York star Carmelo Anthony, despite the recent pause in talks. Anthony reportedly is making it clear he does not want to remain with the Knicks and he does not want to add anyone to his wish list beyond the Rockets and Cleveland. Morey, it has been said, still believes the Rockets are the frontrunners.