During a press conference, CEO Tad Brown said Alexander felt the time was right to sell the team.
"I think (Alexander) had a real good conversation with his family and close, close friends," Brown said. "He just decided it was time for him to make another change in his life."
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Alexander purchased the Rockets in 1993 for $85 million. Under Alexander, the Rockets have won two NBA championships.
"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years," Alexander said in a release. "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."
Brown will oversee the sale process, Alexander said.
The Rockets are valued at nearly $1.65 billion, according to Forbes.
Throughout his tenure as owner, Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation contributed more than $35 million to hundreds of charities throughout Houston.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:
"Leslie Alexander is a true competitor who always searched for the right move to make his teams better. Under his ownership, he created a culture of excellence with strong management that attracted Hall of Famers, All-Stars and coaching giants and brought two NBA championships and four WNBA titles to Houston. Well-respected around the league, he has been an active and influential owner whose vision helped to grow the game globally, especially in China. Moreover, his philanthropy speaks just as powerfully as his ownership, with local libraries, women's centers and homeless shelters all benefiting from his generosity."
In recent weeks, the Rockets have been at the center of trade rumors surrounding New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Just a couple days ago, the team added former Los Angeles Clippers superstar Chris Paul.
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