Tilman Fertitta Rumors

Hours later, their dismantling of the actual Warriors complete, Tilman Fertitta is high-fiving fans on the floor on his way out. Weeks later, the Rockets are heading into the All-Star break as worthy adversaries to the Warriors. So far, as he’s learned, this massive purchase had led to a whole lot of fun. “We had a great owner in Les, and to pass the ball (to Tillman), you can not give it to anybody better,” Olajuwon said. “As a home(town person) in Houston, with the history. It’s an ideal situation. He’s the ideal buyer. He’s a winner, and he has to make his own impact. And you can see that (already). Everything is just – there’s a lot of excitement.”
He was standing on his boat in Marina Del Rey, surrounded by the gorgeous Southern California coast while filming the latest episode of his television show and well aware of the unfortunate irony. Back in Houston, where Fertitta had long been lauded for his philanthropy, the city had been decimated by Hurricane Harvey. “When Houston was sinking, my whole (business) team was at the office working on this deal, and we truly did the deal that weekend,” said Fertitta, who had been a limited Rockets partner since 1982. “We postponed (the announcement) a week because (they deemed it appropriate). It was a happy moment for all of us, but (it was) during a tough time. “I feel like I’m very fortunate. So many good things have happened in my life. Great family. Great business. And if I were to close my eyes, I would’ve said, ‘The only thing I probably didn’t accomplish in life that I ever wanted to do was to own a sports team in my hometown.’ And so this has been a great joy.”
The NBA didn’t become a billionaire’s ball until April of 2014, when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the Clippers after Donald Sterling’s forced exit. Everyone in league circles knew the massive TV deal was coming by then, and so this became a costly risk worth taking. Fertitta’s record price was eclipsed in October, when Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai bought 49% of the Brooklyn Nets at a valuation of $2.3 billion (according to ESPN, he has an option to acquire controlling interest in 2021). “We were hell-bent that we weren’t going to lose (the bidding) this time,” Fertitta said. “But you can’t make somebody sell something to you if they don’t want to sell it. But all we could do is shoot every bullet we could, and I think Tad, you know we did – a lot more than anybody else.”
But did Fertitta – whose team plays in the NBA’s eighth largest media market – pay too much? Truth be told, he doesn’t care. “Do I think I overpaid? Only time tells,” he said. “I sure didn’t underpay. But you know what, if we look in five to 10 years, and the team is worth $3 billion, which I think it will be, it would have been a great deal. And the joy that it’s given me and my family is – that’s an awful lot. …We’re just happy to be a part of the game. “You know somebody could offer me a billion dollars more today than what I paid for the team, and it wouldn’t even move me. It’s not always just about money. It’s about what you enjoy doing in life.”
“It’s been great,” Fertitta said, speaking to USA TODAY Sports by phone before Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers in which Harden was injured. “If you still look at our overall record, we’re thrilled to be where we are. “I’m not worried about (the struggles). It’s a five-game stretch. Hopefully we have all of our downs now and we have all of our ups later. It’s amazing what injuries have to do with these teams winning and losing, too.”
As Fertitta has shown before, he has no problem being patient when it comes to Rockets goals. This, after all, is the man who tried to buy the team in 1993 only to see Les Alexander pay $85 million and barely beat him out. Now, with his vantage point so different and his massive investment on the line, the rookie owner is earning his veteran stripes. “(Watching the Rockets as the owner is) totally different,” he said. “You’re watching every single play from the offensive side to the defensive side. You’re looking at everything, and you’re evaluating your own players. You’re evaluating your team, and so it is totally different. You’re not just a fan anymore, and having a conversation while the game is going on. You’re studying every single play. It’s work. It is work.”