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Houston Rockets success could lead to challenges for team's new owner

HOUSTON – Whether it’s Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, Tilman Fertitta or someone else, how to build upon greatness will be the single biggest challenge for whomever buys the Houston Rockets franchise.

It may end up being the only downside, said Tal Smith, a former professional baseball executive.

“Buyers or investors, they may be looking to buy a franchise and turn it around and to build it into a winner. Get the acclaim and so on. That’s going to be hard to do with the Rockets because they are already very successful, “Smith said.

Smith said he is a 54-year veteran of baseball and as the former president and general manager of the Houston Astros, he knows a thing or a two about what it takes to get deals like this done, aside from just the money.

“It takes time. It takes interest. It has to be your passion. If you're so involved in other businesses and you don't have the time to devote to it, then it sort of becomes a passive activity and perhaps it’s not for you,” Smith said.

He said deals like this one usually end up in a consortium with other investors. Whether it’s McIngvale, Fertitta or someone else, he believes whomever buys the Rockets will have to be comfortable with turning over and entrusting the day-to-day operations to the professionals.

“That's not easily done. I think in this case with Mattress Mack and Tilman, it would be a lot easier because they are familiar with professional and collegiate sports. They know the people involved,” Smith said.

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