Businessman Leslie Alexander has put the Houston Rockets franchise up for sale. After 24 years of service with the Rockets, the 74-year-old has said in a statement that he has taken much consideration into the decision and that the sale will be overseen by his management team. Under Alexander’s guidance, the Rockets have come out on top in 56.9-percent of their games, the fifth-highest number in the league.

In 1993, Alexander purchased the team for $85 million, with the estimated value of the franchise at 1.65 billion dollars, making it the eighth-highest in the league. It also is expected to generate a revenue of $244 million per annum. “Its been a great honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” said Alexander per ESPN, “I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through players and coaches.”

When asked about the city of Houston Alexander said, “The Houston community has always been home for 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.”

The Rockets won the NBA Championship within two years of Alexander buying the franchise, with it continually staying successful with him and his staff’s guidance. But, as Alexander’s time has continued with the Rockets, he has admitted that he has been approached with potential offers over the years, only recently becoming interested in the possibility of selling. ESPN’s Darren Rovell said that one sports investment banker said that he was “shocked” by the announcement because Alexander had shown no prior interest in selling the team.

CEO Tad Brown has said that Houston will work with the league office to facilitate things while the team searches for a new owner. Brown has also said that there is no timetable for the sale and they will wait to find the buyer that will best fit the organization. Potential Rockets buyers may not be limited to living in the United States, seeing as it has become the most popular team in Asia, mostly because of former Chinese Rockets superstar, Yao Ming. The Houston Rockets organization may be forced to wait for the right buyer to come along, but the team is most certainly drawing attention from around the globe.

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