UPDATE: In an official announcement on Tuesday, the Rockets have confirmed that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by Tilman Fertitta. The transaction will require the approval of the NBA Board of Governors.
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a lifelong dream come true,” Fertitta said via the release.
"Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion. Lastly, out of respect for the NBA’s approval process, I can say no more other than I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city of Houston.”
The Rockets are off the market. Houston billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta has reportedly acquired the team from Les Alexander for $2.2 billion, setting a new record for the most money paid for an NBA franchise.
The team could announce the agreement as early as Tuesday, according to KRIV-TV Fox 26’s Mark Berman, who first reported the news.
In July, Alexander announced that he was looking for a potential buyer. He purchased the team for $85 million in 1993.
Along with Fertitta, others who expressed interest in owning the franchise included entertainment icon and Houston native Beyonce, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, former Rockets great Yao Ming, and Gulf States Toyota CEO Dan Friedkin.