Rockets Put Up for Sale by Owner Leslie Alexander

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 09:  Mike D'Antoni and Leslie Alexander announces James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets new contract during a press conference on July 09, 2016 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander announced in a press release Monday that he would be putting the team up for sale.

"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Rockets for the past 24 years. I've had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans. And the Houston community has been home to 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.

"I've made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place. CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team."

The process will not be a rushed one, however, per Mark Berman of Fox 26:

Brown emphasized Alexander's decision to sell the team wasn't health-related, per Berman, though Brown added he was surprised by the development: 

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN added that "Alexander's decision to sell the Rockets didn't only surprise the rest of the NBA, it surprised those within the franchise."

Alexander's tenure will be remembered fondly in Houston, as Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle noted:

Under Alexander, the Rockets made 16 trips to the postseason and won the two aforementioned titles. In that time, the team has boasted superstars such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Dwight Howard and James Harden.

The ability to continually keep the Rockets in the playoff mix is among the reasons Solomon believes Alexander deserves to hold a special distinction in Houston sports history: 

Alexander will leave the organization in a good place, as the Rockets added superstar Chris Paul this offseason to pair with Harden.