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Rockets owner Alexander is selling team, CEO says

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander talks to retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming during a news conference. | Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

HOUSTON — Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is selling the team.

Rockets CEO Tad Brown made the announcement Monday, hours after he said Alexander made the decision.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement Monday calling Alexander “well-respected around the league” and an “active and influential owner,” who helped the team grow globally, especially China.

“Leslie Alexander is a true competitor who always searched for the right move to make his teams better. Under his ownership, he created a culture of excellence with strong management that attracted Hall of Famers, All-Stars and coaching giants and brought two NBA championships and four WNBA titles to Houston,” Silver said. “Well-respected around the league, he has been an active and influential owner whose vision helped to grow the game globally, especially in China. Moreover, his philanthropy speaks just as powerfully as his ownership, with local libraries, women’s centers and homeless shelters all benefitting from his generosity.”

Alexander bought the team in 1993 for $85 million. Forbes lists the Rockets as the eighth most valuable NBA franchise at $1.65 billion.

The year Alexander bought the Rockets, the team went on to win back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

Brown says Alexander had been approached over the years by those looking to buy the team, but that he never considered it until very recently.

Brown says he will be working with the league office to facilitate things while they look for a new owner.

There is no set timetable for the sale, but Brown says they want to find the right buyer and won’t rush the process.