Rockets news: Dikembe Mutombo admits his group ‘came close’ to buying the team
The Houston Rockets were purchased by local billionaire Tilman Fertitta for $2.2 billion, but they could have had a former player as owner after Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo also assembled a group and raised funds to buy the team.
Mutombo has publicly expressed his interest on buying the franchise after now-former owner Leslie Alexander put it up for sale. Reports last July cited that the 51-year-old was trying to gather investors to make a bid and become a team owners.
Despite his efforts and raising “close to $2 billion,” however, Mutombo admitted to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports that they never got a call.
“We did raise a lot of money. I raised close to $2 billion, but we just didn’t get a call, and it happens,” Mutombo said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
“I was very happy with myself. I’m not crying for the fact that we didn’t win. I’m more happy that I was able to pull people together who did believe in my vision to put up that much money. I might be disappointed, but I’m not crying. Things happen, and sometimes they happen for a good reason.
“Even though we didn’t win, we came close. I’m happy for Mr.Tilman (Fertitta) and his family.”
Dikembe Mutombo, nonetheless, said he thinks Alexander made the right decision to sell the Rockets to Fertitta, whom he described as a “great businessman.”
“I think he’s going to follow the spirit of Uncle Les and his vision. I look forward to going to the games and cheering for my Rockets.”
The Rockets’ record price for an NBA franchise even exceeding the $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid to purchase the L.A. Clippers three years ago.
It would have been a great thing if Dikembe Mutombo and his group were able to buy the Rockets. He played his final years with the team and was obviously close to the community. Nevertheless, with things not going his way, the big man now needs to wait for another opportunity to become a stakeholder of an NBA franchise.
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