Houston Rockets are for sale, team president announces

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"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years", Alexander said in a written statement.

Leslie Alexander purchased the Houston Rockets for a mere $85 million in 1993. The value of the franchise has grown steadily since the Hakeem Olajuwon era, thanks in large part to Yao Ming's worldwide appeal.

Rockets' CEO Tad Brown announced on Monday that owner Leslie Alexander has put the team up for sale.

"I think it's been something he's been thinking about a little bit", Brown said.

Brown said Monday there is no timetable for selling the team and Alexander is looking for a buyer committed to keeping the Rockets in Houston. "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".

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Alexander was also the original owner of the now defunct Houston Comets of the WNBA, a franchise that won four consecutive titles. "And the Houston community has been home to me". Throughout his tenure as owner, Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation contributed more than $35 million to hundreds of charities throughout Houston. The Rockets also traded for Chris Paul in late June as the team tries to prepare to compete against the Warriors. The Los Angeles Clippers, a perennial loser in the league, were sold for $2 billion in 2014 to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after the National Basketball Association forced then-owner Donald Sterling to relinquish the team.

"He has been an active and influential owner whose vision helped to grow the game globally, especially in China", Silver said in a statement.

The team also signed general manager Daryl Morey to an extension.

"Wow. Superstar under contract long-term in a big market".

An investment banker before purchasing the Rockets, Alexander had put homes in NY and California up for sale, but has continued to split his time between Houston, Florida and NY. Forbes valued the team at $462 million in 2008. "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".