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Houston Rockets owner says team won’t be sold “unless the whole world came to an end and then it wouldn’t matter”

Via houstonchronicle.com

Tilman Fertitta is adamant he won’t ever sell the Houston Rockets, even amid the dire circumstances that have seen him take a major financial hit. The restaurant and casino owner paid a record $2.2 billion for the team nearly three years ago and is believed to be the owner who is most susceptible to the economic struggles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fertitta has been losing money at a rapid rate, with his daily losses reported to be a whopping $2 million. Yet, he remains confident he’ll be able to navigate through these perilous times and come out of this crisis with enough resources to keep his team under sole ownership.

“The Rockets would never be sold, unless the whole world came to an end and then it wouldn’t matter, ok? If I ever sell the Rockets, it’s because we don’t exist anymore as a country with the rule of law. We’re having anarchy in the street, and at that point there’s no buyers,” the 62-year-old told The Athletic‘s Sam Amick this week.

“There’s a reason that I made it through the ’87 financial crisis, and 2000, and the 2007 (recession), because I’ve always kept so much liquidity. It’s just like me borrowing $300 million a few weeks ago, when I was able to do it when nobody else could at first. …Why not buy even more insurance? I have a huge amount of liquidity, and a lot of different sources of income. I’m not happy right now (with the financial impact), but I haven’t taken an equity partner, I didn’t have to give up warrants to borrow money. …”

Fertitta isn’t interested in bringing minority owners on board either.

“I don’t need partners so I don’t have partners,” he declared. “There’s just no interest in having partners. I think all owners would love not to have partners, but not all teams financially can do that. I have the opportunity that me and my family can own this team 100 percent, and there’s no reason to ever change that.”

Per the Houston Chronicle, the $300 million loan noted above came with a very steep interest rate of 13 percent. With all of his Texas restaurants reopening this Friday, however, Fertitta has reason to feel hopeful.

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