THE ROCKETS ARE SUDDENLY UP FOR SALE A surprise announcement from Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander today: he’s selling the team. The Rockets moved to Houston back in 1971 from their original short-lived home in San Diego, where they were reportedly named for the team’s proximity to the plant where General Dynamics was working on the Atlas program. Alexander bought the franchise for some $85 million back in 1993, just before the Rockets earned Houston its first championship win and the nickname Clutch City; management made some noise about moving everybody to Kentucky around the end of the 90’s, possibly to add urgency to the push to secure city funds for a new stadium (which became known as Toyota Center). The Rockets were appraised at $1.65 billion by Forbes this past February. [NBA.com via KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool
USPS, ON THE OTHER HAND, STILL LIKES ‘CLUTCH CITY’ The marketing-giddy corners of the internets may be buzzing today about the new “City with No Limits” branding campaign for Houston, but the U.S. Postal Service, it seems, is still stuck on an earlier nickname for the city. Reader Christopher Andrews tweets this screenshot showing the results that appear if you ask the USPS website to list all cities in the 77002 Zip Code. Strangely, “Clutch City” does not appear in the results for 77027 — the Zip Code of the former Houston Summit (now Lakewood Church), where the Houston Rockets played when they won the NBA championship in 1994 and 1995. The team didn’t move into the Toyota Center (in 77002) until 2003. [Twitter; try your own Zip Code search here] Screenshot: Christopher Andrews
A reader reports that the large and well-turreted home at the corner of Rivercrest and Westheimer — not far from State Rep. Hubert Vo’s curious mansion — is almost complete:
The home belongs to Mike James, formerly of the Houston Rockets, who was traded to the Timberwolves, only to be traded back in exchange for Juwan Howard. The irony is that the home is an exact replica of Juwan Howard’s home in Royal Oaks, just a few miles down the road (Mike and his wife were unaware of this as their “Manager” picked out the plan — they were not amused when they found this out after Mike and his manager parted ways). It was designed by Berrios Designs (exceptional building designer), as was the guest house and the full NBA regulation indoor basketball court at the back of the ~3.5 acre property. The property also features two putting greens complete with dual sand bunkers and a water hazard, a “sunken” pool between the guest and main house, and a gym and dance studio attached to the basketball court. Sadly, the project, which had so much potential, is being finished on the cheap because of cost over-runs caused by their former manager (trying to do things cheap generally ends up costing a lot more money). Regardless, it is turning out pretty decently, but could have been done so much better.
Mike James’s house under construction in Rivercrest is pictured at the top of this story; Juwan Howard’s home in Royal Oaks is the one below it.
We hope the house-plan trade works out better than the player trade: James was sent to the New Orleans Hornets in February. But he says he’ll be back!
After the jump, more glimpses of Mike James’s Howardian manor and sports compound, plus a look inside the Royal Oaks home it’s modeled after!
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