Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is putting the franchise up for sale

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is putting the team up for sale, team president Tad Brown announced on Monday in a news conference. Brown cited Alexander's age, commitments to his family and philanthropic interests as the motivating factors for Alexander to put the team on the market.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the decision to put the Rockets up for sale not only shocked the NBA -- but also those within the Rockets organization.

"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years," Alexander said in a prepared statement. "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."

Houston recently traded for Chris Paul and gave superstar James Harden a record $228 million extension that will keep him in town until the 2022-23 season. Additionally, the franchise had been in talks to trade for Carmelo Anthony up until earlier this week when talks stalled. 

In 1993, Alexander purchased the Rockets for $85 million according to the Houston Chronicle; the franchise was most recently valued as a $1.65 billion franchise by Forbes.  

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