“I started listening to the San Diego Rockets when I was junior high school when they said they were moving to Houston, Texas, with Elvin Hayes. That’s when I became a Houston Rockets fan, when they were in San Diego, so I’ve been on the ride from the beginning. Les kept me involved with the team. I have the two championship rings from ’93 and ’94, but this is a different feeling, let me just tell you guys. I feel very special that this opportunity came to me.”
Fertitta, 60, the owner of Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s, a Texas-based restaurant and entertainment company, called the Rockets “a generational asset” that his four children (sons Michael, Patrick and Blake and daughter Blayne) would run long after he dies.
“Honestly, nothing even compares,” said Fertitta, who kidded that his friendship with Alexander didn’t earn him any favors in negotiations. “Nothing compares whatsoever. This is the ultimate. It’s the ultimate. You’re in a club of 30. Anybody can go build a boardwalk, anybody can build an aquarium, anybody can build tall buildings, but not everybody gets to own an NBA franchise. And, gosh, to get lucky to pay $2.2 billion, how lucky can I be?”
From the outset, the pairing of a 34-year-old whiz kid executive with a 61-year-old baseball icon who grew up in the Twin Cities appeared to be an interesting one. Falvey was hired by owner Jim Pohlad last winter to replace longtime GM Terry Ryan after the team lost 103 games. Pohlad’s only directive to Falvey and his right-hand man, Levine, was they had to keep Molitor as manager through the final year of his deal.
The three had no previous relationship to build on, so they started Cheap China NFL Jerseys from scratch. Falvey and Levine made frequent trips to the manager’s office Cheap Dog Jerseys during spring training and in the regular season, working to forge a connection to jump-start the evaluation process.