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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta claims Houston getting under the luxury tax ‘was a fluke’

Tilman Fertitta, Rockets

Tilman Fertitta’s second year as Houston Rockets owner ended in yet another heartbreak after they were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.

This is the second straight season (and the fourth over the past five years) that the Rockets have been eliminated by the Warriors in the playoffs, and there have been some concerns about Fertitta’s decision making — particularly his reluctance to go over the luxury tax.

Last season, Fertitta reportedly made moves to go under the luxury tax. He denied these rumors in an interview with Jonathan Feigen of Houston Chronicle, saying that he doesn’t mind overspending a bit. However, he does expect the Rockets to at least be one of the top four teams in the NBA.

“Last year (getting under the luxury tax) was a fluke. We were going to be in the (tax). It was an accident. I’m still trying to figure out how we got under. I was positive we were going to be in it by $11 million. But if I’m in the luxury tax, I expect us to win.”

There have also been claims that he was desperately cutting costs throughout the Rockets organization, something that he denied as well.

“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. I spend more money on little things than anybody else. I just bought us a brand-new 767 that we’re re-fitting right now. Everybody else just rents planes. I want our players on our plane. And it’s not a 757; it’s a 767.”

Fertitta is making it clear that he’s not afraid to spend money for the benefit of the franchise, but he also said that he carefully weighs in on all his options because he also wants to make good use of his resources.

At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. Fertitta isn’t worried about spending as long as the Rockets are winning.