HOUSTON – Charlie Thomas, the former owner of the Houston Rockets, died Friday. He was 89.
Thomas bought Houston’s NBA team in 1982 for about $10 million and sold it in 1993 for about $85 million.
Current Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said in a statement posted on Twitter that the team is deeply saddened by Thomas’ passing.
“Charlie was a great friend, business partner, and true Texan who loved his Rockets,” Fertitta said in the statement. “He helped set the foundation of our franchise that brought two championships to the City of Houston.”
Thomas also owned a car dealership group and operated more than 40 dealerships across the country. He was also an avid automobile collector. In 2012, he put 175 vehicles from his personal collection up for auction.
“I will miss my friend very much,” Fertitta said. “Our thoughts go out to his loving family during this difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.