HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – In a unanimous vote, the NBA Board of Governors approved Houston based restaurateur Tilman Fertitta as the new owner of the Houston Rockets and Clutch City Sports and Entertainment. The vote to approve Fertitta was held on Thursday.
Fertitta is the 10th owner in Rockets franchise history.
Fertitta purchases the franchise from Leslie Alexander who bought the franchise, in a bid that beat Fertitta’s, back in 1994 for $83 million. Fertitta’s purchase, agreed upon this summer, will be for an NBA record $2.2 billion.
“I could not be happier,” Fertitta said in a statement released by the Rockets. “To own the Rockets in my hometown of Houston is a dream come true. I promise to continue to make this city proud of the Rockets and to do what we can to bring home a championship.”
Fertitta thanked Alexander for his contributions to the city of Houston through his ownership of the Rockets which included the franchise’s only world titles.
“Leslie (Alexander) has left an indelible mark on Houston sports history. Not only did he bring two championships to our city, he created a winning environment and culture. He is a tough act to follow,” Fertitta said in a statement.
Alexander, who has decided to spend more time dealing with his charities and philanthropic causes, recently donated $10 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Alexander, who has not made a public appearance since the announcement that the team was for sale in July, congratulated Fertitta on his approval by the NBA owners.
“I have been friends with Tilman (Fertitta) since 1993, so it is my great honor to announce that Tilman and his family have been able to fulfill their dream of owning the Houston Rockets,” Alexander said in the Rockets’ statement. ” Tilman’s passion, commitment to excellence, and unrivaled love for the city of Houston are going to serve him well as a great owner of this proud franchise.”
Fertitta is scheduled to be introduced at Toyota Center for his first press conference as Rockets owner next Tuesday.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio