HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets are for sale, and KHOU 11 Sports has already identified one potential buyer.
Team CEO Tad Brown confirmed the news Monday and said Alexander is committed to selling the team to someone who will keep it in Houston.
Local billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta told KHOU 11 Sports’ Matt Musil, “Of course I’m interested,” and owning the team is “a great opportunity.”
Fertitta’s net worth, according to Forbes, is $3.1 billion.
Alexander bought the Rockets for $85 million in 1993, which would be about $145 million today. Forbes valued the team at $462 million in 2008.
Now, Forbes estimates the Rockets’ value at $1.65 billion – the eighth-most valuable franchise in the National Basketball League.
Other potential buyers could be among Houston's billionaires. According to Forbes' 2017 billionaires ranking, 13, including Alexander and Fertitta, are in the Houston area:
- Richard Kinder, $7.2 billion (pipelines)
- Dannine Avara, $5.7 billion (pipelines)
- Scott Duncan, $5.7 billion (pipelines)
- Milane Frantz, $5.7 billion (pipelines)
- Randa Williams, $5.7 billion (pipelines)
- Jeffery Hildebrand, $4.3 billion (oil)
- Dan Friedkin, $3.6 billion (Toyota dealerships)
- Robert McNair, $3.5 billion (energy, sports)
- John Arnold, $3 billion (hedge funds)
- Tilman Fertitta, $2.9 billion (restaurants, casinos)
- George Bishop, $2.5 billion (oil & gas)
- Leslie Alexander, $1.9 billion (Houston Rockets)
- Fayez Sarofim, $1.6 billion (money management)
Rockets fans on the KHOU 11 News Facebook page are weighing in on who they would like to see as the next Rockets owner. Among the responses are former Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, and Houston native Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, who once owned a stake in the Brooklyn Nets.