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Alexander lists Houston Rockets for sale on heels of Harden's mega deal

© GETTY/AFP/File | Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, pictured in May 2017, hopes to sell the team

HOUSTON (AFP) - 

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has put the NBA club up for sale less than two weeks after he signed star forward James Harden to the richest contract in league history.

The Rockets are the eighth most valuable franchise in the league at $1.65 billion and their annual revenue is $244 million, according to Forbes magazine

That is substantially more than the 73-year-old Alexander purchased the team for in 1993 when it was valued at $85 million.

"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years," Alexander said Monday.

"I've had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans."

Alexander recently signed Harden to a four-year contract extension that means he will make $228 million over the next six seasons through 2022-23.

The 27-year-old Harden, runner-up for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award last season, has two years and $59 million left on his current contract. The four-year extension carries a value of $169 million.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Monday he had great respect for Alexander because he "brought two NBA championships" to Houston.

© 2017 AFP