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It’s official: Tilman J. Fertitta owns the Houston Rockets

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It was a surprise when Leslie Alexander put the Houston Rockets up for sale, but there were 2.2 billion reasons it turned out to be a good deal for him.

Last week the NBA Board of Governors (the owners) approved the sale and Houston businessman Tilman J. Fertitta is now officially the owner of the Rockets. The sale closed on Friday. Alexander bought the team for $85 million in 1993.

“I could not be happier,” Fertitta said in a released statement. “To own the Rockets in my hometown of Houston is a dream come true.  I promise to continue to make this city proud of the Rockets and to do what we can to bring home a championship.”

Fertitta was a minority owner of the team back in the 1980s. He has gone on to make his fortune as the owner of the Landry’s restaurant empire — Bubba Gump, Mortons, Rainforest Cafe, and others — as well as the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels. There are no other minority owners in the transaction as of now (there were celebrities such as Houston native Beyoncé interested in that role).

“I have been friends with Tilman since 1993, so it is my great honor to announce that Tilman and his family have been able to fulfill their dream of owning the Houston Rockets,” Alexander said in a statement. “Tilman’s passion, commitment to excellence, and unrivaled love for the city of Houston are going to serve him well as a great owner of this proud franchise.”

Fertitta takes over a franchise that is $2.5 million over the luxury tax line for this season, with that number likely to spike as Chris Paul becomes a free agent next summer (assuming the Rockets plan to keep him, likely with a max or near max contract). The Rockets also turned a $53 million profit last season, according to an internal NBA report leaked to ESPN. Will Fertitta continue to spend money to keep a contender on the court? Probably, he said he wants to bring the city a title (and that will cost), but any time a new owner takes over it’s something to watch.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.