The Houston Rockets have been in a state of transition for the past several years. In 2018, Tilman Fertitta bought the team from long-time owner Les Alexander. Then, in 2020, both head coach Mike D'Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey also departed the organization for jobs with new teams. Now, the head of Houston's business operations is about to move on as well.
On Friday, Rockets CEO Tad Brown announced that he will be transitioning out of his role after the season. He originally joined the team in 2002 as vice president of corporate development, and was named CEO in 2006. He released a statement thanking the team for his time as CEO.
"It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to lead the Houston Rockets and Clutch City Sports and Entertainment," said Brown. "The executives, City leaders, partners and staff I've been blessed to work with over the past 20 years represent the best our industry and region have to offer, and all have been critical to building the world class organization that fans and partners on a global scale proudly support today.
"When Tilman and I first started discussing a succession plan, it was very emotional for us both as we've known each other since I first moved to Houston. We built a friendship when Tilman and Paige were fans and corporate partners. We've seen each other's kids grow up; and ultimately established a very successful business partnership when he purchased the team. I can't thank Tilman enough for his support and friendship, and for the confidence and trust he placed in me. I am excited to see what the future holds for the franchise. Led by Tilman, Patrick and the Fertitta family, the Rockets organization is in great hands for generations to come.
"I'm also excited to see what the future holds for me and my family as we look to our next adventure. The Houston Rockets and Toyota Center personnel - past and present - have become an important part of our lives and will always live in our hearts. They're our family forever. What a privilege it has been to be a small part of Clutch City's history, truly the experience of a lifetime."
The Rockets are in the middle of a rebuilding period after trading James Harden. That will give new GM Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas time to develop their own culture, and a new CEO will have the same opportunity as the team embarks on the post-Harden era.