Beyonce, Olajuwon reportedly interested in Houston Rockets ownership stake
HOUSTON — Since Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander announced the Rockets are up for sale weeks ago, fans have been left in the lurch — wondering who will be the Red Nation’s new ruler.
The latest list of folks with interest in owning the team feature some, but familiar, faces including former Rockets superstar and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and five-time Grammy-winning performer Beyonce.
First, here’s ESPN.com’s Mark Woods on Olajuwon’s interest in potentially buying a share in the team:
The Houston Rockets were put up for sale in July by long-time owner Leslie Alexander, and one former player said he’d be interested in joining a future ownership group.
“I’m buying it,” Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon joked Tuesday, before getting more serious about the matter.
“Many groups now have called me and want me involved,” Olajuwon, now a Rockets team ambassador, said. “With two of the groups, I’m doing my background check to see if that is a possibility. Just an association would be great.
“I’m still with the organization now. I have a contract with the Rockets, not to be in an ownership position. But if the opportunity opens itself, it will be something great.”
With Olajuwon, the Rockets won back-to-back titles. Both of those championships came after Alexander purchased the franchise in 1993.
“I think they were a championship team last year,” said Olajuwon, who now lives in the United Kingdom where his children are in school and he is involved with a basketball club in the city of Birmingham. “That series we lost against San Antonio, I think we could have given Golden State a better series than San Antonio did.
“I believe that I’ve never played one season thinking we cannot win a championship. It’s open in the playoffs — I believe if this team plays with confidence and plays their game, they have a chance.
“I’ve always believed that if you have a legitimate team like Houston, with one of the best records in the league, they are a championship team. But of course, the West is so strong that you have to go against Golden State or San Antonio. But I think they can beat San Antonio.”
And here’s Bloomberg.com’s Scott Soshnick on Beyonce’s interest in buying a share in the Rockets, too:
Pop superstar Beyonce, a Houston native, is mulling an investment in the National Basketball Association’s Rockets, according to people familiar with the matter.
Rockets owner Les Alexander, a former bond trader, said last month he was selling the team amid a surge in franchise values across sports. The club’s popularity in China may push the sale price past the record $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers three years ago.
It’s common for celebrities to make small investments in sports teams. Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, for instance, was born in Brooklyn and once held a less than 1 percent stake in basketball’s Nets. He sold his share of the team after starting Roc Nation, which represents athletes.
There are plenty of other examples: Pop star Justin Timberlake, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, owns a piece of basketball’s Grizzlies; tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, as well as Jennifer Lopez, are investors in football’s Miami Dolphins; and actor Will Ferrell has a stake in Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club.
The Rockets declined to comment. Beyonce’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The entertainer’s representatives at Sony Music Entertainment declined to comment. A spokeswoman for her husband, Jay-Z, also didn’t immediately respond.
According to Forbes, Beyonce is second to Sean “Diddy” Combs on its 2017 list of highest-paid celebrities at $105 million. Her net worth is $350 million, Forbes said. Jay-Z is worth $810 million.