The NBA world was rocked on Monday when Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander announced that he was putting the team up for sale. This news broke just weeks after the Rockets made a big-time splash in trading for Chris Paul and just weeks after inking star guard James Harden to the largest contract extension in the history of the league.
While there will likely be a full-blown procession of suitors when it comes to trying to purchase the team, a former player is already making calls to try and jump into the mix. Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston brings word from Dikembe Mutombo, who retired as a member of the Rockets in 2009, and he hit the ground running on Monday.
“I’m working on it. I’m talking to a lot of people already since (Monday). We’ll see.
“I’m just talking to the people who can cut the check and they can make me be part of it. I’m working on that.”
The full interview gives every indication that Mutombo knows that he alone cannot meet what is expected to be a ten-figure asking price for the team. Still, he is a fantastic ambassador for the league with several high-level connections established through stops in multiple cities and Mutombo reportedly feels as if he “missed (his) opportunity” to potentially join an ownership group to acquire the Hawks in 2015.
“A lot of people think it’s a great thing. It’s a great opportunity.
“Now it’s just a question of the number. There’s going to be a lot of discussion and a lot of cash.
“I missed my opportunity two years ago with the Atlanta Hawks.”
The 51-year-old former center spent five seasons with the Rockets organization from 2004 to 2009 and, according to the report, maintains a residence in the Houston area despite being something of a world traveler. Mutombo’s number is actually retired by the Atlanta Hawks and he is best known for his play both in Atlanta and Denver. Still, this wouldn’t be the first time that a former player made a big ownership splash in a market that wasn’t necessarily his most associated city.
In the end, it seems unlikely that Mutombo could come up with the money needed to make this happen unless, of course, he is close, personal friends with a billionaire that we don’t know about. Still, it is a fun subplot to see him this excited about the potential of a bid and the Hall of Famer would be great for the league in this capacity.