On Monday, the Houston Rockets made a surprising announcement when they made it known that team owner Leslie Alexander has decided to put up the NBA franchise for sale. It was confirmed by CEO Tad Brown in a press conference, where he said they are looking for a buyer who will keep the Rockets in Houston.
Now, a potential new owner has emerged, as billionaire Tilman Fertitta has expressed his interest in investing in the team.
“I've known Les [Alexander] since he purchased the team 24 years ago. Les has been a great owner for 24 years. He's won the only two major championships in the history of Houston and has kept the team competitive for 24 years. It will be big shoes to follow for whoever buys the team. I definitely have an interest.”
Fertitta is a cousin of former UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and is the CEO/owner of Landry’s Inc., which is one of the country’s biggest restaurant corporations. He also used to own a big share of the city’s NFL team, the Houston Texans, but was forced to sell his stake as he is a part-owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos as well. With the NBA not prohibiting owners to invest in businesses that include gambling, he is the favorite to purchase the Rockets at this point.
The 60-year-old is a Texas native and has long been a sports fan, whether it may be basketball, football, or even baseball, which may explain his immediate interest in acquiring the Rockets. It also adds to the team’s appeal that they currently have two stars and are geared for a lot of success in the coming years, and that they have already won two championships in their history back in 1994 and 1995.