Among the responses are former Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, and Houston native Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, who once owned a stake in the Brooklyn Nets. The value of the franchise has grown steadily since the Hakeem Olajuwon era, thanks in large part to Yao Ming's worldwide appeal.
Team CEO Tad Brown confirmed the news Monday and said Alexander is committed to selling the team to someone who will keep it in Houston.
"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", added Alexander.
The trademark of Alexander's ownership has been a constant pursuit of stars. Brown will oversee the sale process, Alexander said.
"It's a nice opportunity to have that rolled into one asset", Brown said.
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However, a source close to the studio told the publication Whitmire's communication style was "overly hostile and unproductive" and his way of negotiation resulted in production delays.
Brown said the 74-year-old Alexander had been approached over the years by potential buyers, but never considered it until very recently.
Alexander bought the Rockets in 1993 for $85 million and watched them win back-to-back championships in his first two seasons as owner. Throughout his tenure as owner, Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation contributed more than $35 million to hundreds of charities throughout Houston.
Alexander recently gave general manager Daryl Morey a new contract and also signed Harden to an extension that was the richest contract in National Basketball Association history at $228 million.
Brown cited those moves, along with the long-term contracts for general manager Daryl Morey, coach Mike D'Antoni and other members of the front office as moves that have strengthened the franchise and increased its value.