It has been officially announced by the Houston Rockets that the franchise has been sold to a local businessman Tilman J. Fertitta. Although the terms of the sale have not been made public, ESPN reports that Fertitta paid $2.2 billion for the ownership, which represents a new purchase record for NBA franchise. NBA’s Board of Governors need to approve the sale of the Rockets, but it seems like there will be no problems for its finalization. The deal has been confirmed on the Rockets’ Twitter account.
Tilman J. Fertitta has reached a definitive agreement to purchase the Houston Rockets.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) September 5, 2017
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true,” said Fertitta in the official statement following the purchase.
Born in Galveston, Texas Tilman Fertitta is the owner of Landry’s, Inc., one of the largest restaurant corporations in the nation. He is also the owner of Golden Nugget Casinos and was involved in building Houston Texans as an NFL franchise. Fertitta was interested in buying the Rockets in 1993, but his $81 million offer wasn’t good enough.
The current owner of the team, Leslie Alexander, put the Huston Rockets for sale in July. Alexander purchased the Rockets 24 years ago and paid $85 million for them. Forbes estimated that the Rockets were the 8th most valuable franchise in the NBA, and could fetch a price of $1.65 billion. For comparison, L.A. Clippers were estimated at $575 million before being sold for around $2 billion.
Under Alexander’s ownership, Huston Rockets immediately won 2 NBA titles in a row, in 1994 and 1995. These two titles remain the franchise’s biggest achievements. The team also has the fifth best record in the league in the last 24 years, winning 56.4% of their games. After pairing James Harden with Chris Paul in the offseason, Rockets are now considered to be a Top 3 NBA team and set for big things.