In 1999, four wise women posed an economic inquiry to their male counterparts, crafting what would become an anthem of the early 2000s:
Eighteen years later, a man with no doubt lesser dance skills and vocal range, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, is asking those same questions. Not a month ago, CEO Tad Brown announced in a team press conference that the franchise was up for sale after 24 years of Alexander ownership. In 1993, the former bond trader paid $85 million for the Rockets. Today, according to a Forbes estimation, Alexander can expect to sell the team for around $1.65 billion.
One of those wise women, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter — or Queen Bey, respectfully, or Bey, if you’re familiar enough (you’re not), or Sasha Fierce, if 2008 was particularly good to you, or Mrs. Carter, if you’re Jay-Z (thanks for reading, Jay-Z!) — could be the one who ends up paying Alexander’s bills. His telephone bills. His automo — you get it. Yes, good people of the Beyhive: Beyoncé, a Houston native, is reportedly interested in buying a stake in the franchise.
It’s not unusual for celebrities to become sports team owners. In fact, when the sale was announced, Beyoncé was the first prospective buyer that came to mind. Her husband, Jay-Z, formerly owned a piece of the Brooklyn Nets. He’s since sold it to start the Roc Nation Sports agency, but the couple still frequents the NBA courtside, even when the better half was like, really, really pregnant, and Beyoncé’s connection to Houston is without question. She even has a song titled "Rocket." But it’s not about basketball, it’s about, um — just listen sometime.
So would Beyoncé really buy? We’ll find out sooner rather than later: Alexander seems to want a quick sale, as noted both verbally by team representatives in the press conference and nonverbally by Alexander himself. He’s listed three of his houses (worth $16.4 million, $21.5 million, and $46.5 million) for sale in the past four months.
According to Forbes’ "America’s Richest Self-Made Women," Beyoncé is worth $350 million. Together, she and Jay-Z enter the billion range. Three years ago, the Clippers were sold for a record $2 billion to Steve Ballmer. Los Angeles is a significantly bigger market, ranking second in the nation per Nielsen, but Houston still sits within the top eight. Plus, the Rockets’ global popularity, especially in China, could make the argument for a comparable selling price. It’s unlikely Beyoncé has the liquid assets to buy the team outright.
So what Beyoncé is reportedly "mulling over" is a minority ownership, which is on par for a celebrity as famously private as she is, well, famous. Will she invest? I can’t claim to know what Beyoncé will do, I’m just a simple woman who made an email in her grandmother’s name to temporarily stream Lemonade on Tidal. But when asked what the NBA could use more of, Beyoncé is high on the list.