Mutombo trying to put group together to buy the Rockets

- Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo, who played the final five years of his career with the Houston Rockets and retired in 2009, said he is working on putting a group together that he hopes will try and buy the Rockets franchise.

Owner Leslie Alexander put the Rockets on the market on Monday.

"I'm working on it," Mutombo said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I'm talking to a lot of people already since (Monday). We'll see.

"I'm just talking to the people who can cut the check and they can make me be part of it. I'm working on that."

Mutombo said the people he is speaking with are receptive to the idea of attempting to purchase the Rockets franchise.

"A lot of people think it's a great thing," Mutombo said. "It's a great opportunity.

"Now it's just a question of the number," he said laughing. "There's going to be a lot of discussion and a lot of cash.

"I missed my opportunity two years ago with the Atlanta Hawks."

Mutombo played for the Hawks from 1996 to 2001.

The Hawks were sold in 2015.

Mutombo said the Rockets franchise presents a great opportunity for the next owner.

"It's like someone who's already sitting on the runway trying to take off," Mutombo said. "That's what kind of team the Rockets are right now.

"The Rockets are a great franchise. They have a great team. They've got great coaches, great basketball players, great staff. Whoever is coming in, it's not like they're going to have to rebuild it.

"I'm trying to convince some people about trying to buy this team. It's one of the best franchises right now. It's really the right time."

Mutombo may have retired from the Rockets in 2009, but he still has a home in Houston.

"That's the reason I don't want to sell my house, because Houston will always have a place in my heart," Mutombo said. "My car's still there. My clothes are still in Houston. It was just me who got on a plane and left.

"I don't know which level I would come (in), but I would love to be part of something like that."

Mutombo was certainly caught off guard when he heard that Alexander put his franchise up for sale.

"I was a little bit surprised by the news," Mutombo said. "Les has done a lot for the city, for the franchise, winning all of the championships for the city of Houston, and bringing so many great players with great value who have contributed a lot to the city."

Mutombo said Alexander meant so much to him away from the game of basketball.

"I'm celebrating 10 years of the opening of the hospital, Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (in the Democratic Republic of Congo, named for his late mother)," Mutombo said. 

"There are so many people I can thank, like Les Alexander, who have contributed a lot, and made sure the hospital opened on time.

"We hope that whatever ownership will come next will continue to play such a big role in the city and for all of the people like Mr. Leslie Alexander did."


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