They know this isn’t the NBA Finals – even if it might feel like it inside the owner’s suite at the Toyota Center during halftime. It’s mid-January, in the middle of the Houston Rockets’ rollicking regular season where James Harden, Chris Paul & Co. have convinced the masses that they’re for real. Yet in this jam-packed space that has become Tilman Fertitta’s second home, where the 59-year-old Galveston native with a reported wealth of $4.3 billion paid a record $2.2 billion to buy the Rockets from Les Alexander in early September, you'd never know this was one of 82 games. Fertitta is surrounded by his family, sports legends and music stars, including “Slim Thug” and “DJ Kaskade." The defending champion Golden State Warriors are in town, and they’re losing at halftime in the kind of way that reminds you they’re not invincible after all. The suite – which features a bar, a family room, a separate guest area and a glass wall where fans walk by and gawk at the high society scene – is buzzing. Fertitta is no stranger to entertaining, what with a restaurant empire and casino ventures serving as his financial foundation and his “Billion Dollar Buyer” show on CNBC now in its third season. So he makes the rounds with his wife, Paige, socializing like they did more than 30 years ago when Rockets games were a routine part of their dating life and before their four kids came along. Wine and snacks are served. This Rockets lifestyle, the same one Fertitta tried to buy into in 1993 when his bid of $81 million fell just $4 million short of Alexander’s winning bid, was worth the wait.
Rockets owner expects team to be worth $3B within 10 years
USA Today | Feb 15