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The Houston Rockets are for sale, CEO Tad Brown announced on Monday.
He said that owner Leslie Alexander, who bought the Rockets in 1993 for $85 million, is “looking at changing the fabric of his life.”
“When he mentioned to me this morning that he had made up his mind that this was what he wanted to do, I was very surprised,” Brown said. “But, at the end of the day, nothing truly surprises me because Leslie is a man of many passions and he’s got things he wants to do and opportunities that he wants to pursue.”
Alexander, 73, had immediate success as an owner, as the Rockets won NBA titles over the New York Knicks 1994 and the Orlando Magic in 1995 behind the play of Hakeem Olajuwon. They began the ’93-’94 season by starting 15-0. Olajuwon was the league’s MVP that season.
“It’s a grind,” Brown said. “Even now, when things are ratcheted up more with explications … it’s been tough. I think (Alexander) had a good conversation with his family and with some of his close, close friends and he just decided it was time for him to make another change in his life.”
Forbes estimates the Rockets’ value at $1.65 billion, the eighth-most valuable NBA franchise.
“The timetable (for the sale) is to have the best stability sooner than later,” Brown said. “But we’re not going to rush a timetable because the management team in place is going to be operating the same way during this process as well as after the process. We’re going to make sure it’s the right buyer.”
The Rockets posted a 56.9% winning percentage with Alexander as owner, which ranks fifth over that period.