NBA's Houston Rockets Are for Sale, Owner Les Alexander Says – Bloomberg

James Harden of the Houston Rockets goes for the layup during a game against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 23, 2016.

The Houston Rockets are for sale.

Billionaire owner Les Alexander said Monday in a telephone interview that he’s selling the National Basketball Association team. Alexander said he would handle the transaction himself, without hiring a bank. He referred all other questions to the team.

The Rockets are valued at $1.65 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s annual rankings. That’s eighth most in the NBA.

The announcement comes as franchise values across major professional sports are skyrocketing. The past five years have seen a number of record-setting transactions in the NBA, topped by Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Rockets recently gave star guard James Harden the largest contract in NBA history, a four-year extension that brings the deal to a reported $228 million. The Rockets also recently traded for nine-time All Star point guard Chris Paul.

The Rockets are one of the NBA’s most popular teams in Asia, thanks largely to former All Star Yao Ming, a Chinese national who played for the team.

The Atlanta Hawks were the last NBA team to be sold, fetching a $730 million price from Tony Ressler. That sale also included $120 million in arena debt.

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