Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander will be selling the Houston Rockets, team president Tad Brown announced on Monday. It’s an unexpected announcement from the team and one that has fascinating timing, even if the immediate affects on the on-court basketball should be relatively nonexistent. Brown also says 72-year-old Alexander isn’t selling the team because of health issues.
Right now, Forbes values the Rockets at $1.65 billion. The primary owner of the Rockets is Les Alexander, who bought the team in 1993 for $85 million. The timetable for selling the team is “sooner than later,” per Brown, but he also clarified that there’s no rush.
Tad Brown said "it can wear on you after so many decades. There are passions in his life." Cited philanthropic efforts, family.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 17, 2017
Alexander had been approached over the years, Brown said. Looking at "changing the fabric of his life."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 17, 2017
The Rockets are poised to be a top-three team in the West next season, and they have a superstar (and MVP runner-up) locked up until 2023 after James Harden recently inked a new contract extension with the team. That could shoot the team’s evaluation up even higher than the Forbes estimation.
The last NBA team to sell was in 2015, when the Atlanta Hawks sold for $850 million. In 2014, Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for an incredible $2 billion and the Milwaukee Bucks went for $550 million, as well. After a rash of franchises being sold in 2010 and 2011, there hasn’t been nearly the demand ever since.
Don't remember last time franchise being for sale shocked the league. Usually rumors/reports well in advance. This came at press conference!— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 17, 2017
Despite the surprise, the basketball is still basketball, and the front office and coaching staff ideally should not be affected by these proceedings whatsoever. Regardless, we’ll see what comes next for the Rockets.