It’s safe to say that Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander will receive a substantial return on his initial investment in the near future.
According to ESPN, Alexander is putting his team up for sale. Incredibly, he bought the team in 1993 for $85 million. Now, Forbes values the franchise at $1.65 billion which ranks eighth in the NBA with solid revenues of $244 million.
"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.”
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Further, Alexander made his respect for the city of Houston evident in his statement.
"And the Houston community has been home to me; I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years. I'll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team,” he explained.
Part of the reason for his willingness to sell has to do with the fact that he feels comfortable with the current stability of the franchise, from the top to the bottom.
"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. CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team," he said.
Rockets CEO Mark Berman explained the owner’s thought process in a press conference on Monday:
In the 24 years under Alexander’s ownership, the Rockets have won an impressive 56.9 percent of their games (the fifth-best in the NBA in that span) and captured two championships. Now with James Harden and Chris Paul leading the team, the future remains bright, despite playing in a stacked Western Conference alongside a plethora of All-Stars and the Golden State Warriors.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the announcement was not only a shock to the rest of the NBA, but also within the organization.
It remains to be seen how much Alexander will sell the team for, but considering that the Los Angeles Clippers sold for $2 billion in 2014, he will be in store for a massive payday.