Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo says he wants to get into NBA ownership and is looking for partners to join a bid for the Houston Rockets.
“I’m trying to convince some people about trying to buy this team,” Mutombo told Houston’s Fox 26 Sports. “It’s one of the best franchises right now. It’s really the right time.”
He said he was looking for partners who can “cut the check and they can make me be part of it.” He said he has been in contact with potential buyers since Monday, when Leslie Alexander announced he would put the team up for sale after 24 years of ownership.
Mutombo told the television station that “I missed my opportunity” with the Atlanta Hawks, who retired his No. 55 in 2015. They were sold that year to a group headed by billionaire Antony Ressler.
Mutombo finished his 18-year NBA career by playing for the Rockets from 2004 to 2009. He had high praise for the team, which recently paired Chris Paul with franchise cornerstone James Harden to form a high-powered backcourt, and said he still has a home in Houston.
“The Rockets are a great franchise. They have a great team. They’ve got great coaches, great basketball players, great staff,” Mutombo told Fox 26 Sports. “Whoever is coming in, it’s not like they’re going to have to rebuild it.”
Houston native and billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta expressed interest in buying the Rockets this week.
There is no set timetable for selling the team. Rockets CEO Tad Brown is overseeing the process of selling the franchise, which Forbes has valued at $1.65 billion.