By Tony "Rocket Man" Perez
In 2023, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta announced that a new practice facility was in the works. For so long, the Rocket’s held practices, shoot around and training camps in their gym inside Toyota Center since its opening in 2003. Many in the fanbase have expressed their frustrations about the facility because it resembles a high school gym.
Since purchasing the team back in 2017 from Leslie Alexander, Fertitta has made it known to the public that his intentions to make the team better in all aspects were his number one priority. Fertitta has already transformed the organization by making Gretchen Sheirr the first woman as CEO to lead business operations. The shakeup of the front office gave Feritta more power than he has had since becoming owner while having a say in the new head coach and it’s paid off for them up until this point.
This past offseason, the Rockets were going to be big spenders having approximately 80 million in cap space. However, the question remained of who they ultimately should bring in. Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks both received max contacts and although there were questions about potential fit, both players have significantly impacted the team on and off the court.
Now the question remains. Why does a new facility matter at all? For starters, it’s been a long time coming; then owner Les Alexander expressed interest in building a new facility, but nothing came of it. In terms of changing and building culture, it is a matter of getting players to buy into everything in the organization. Head Coach, Ime Udoka also expressed the significance of a new facility. “I think it’s great for our players and coaches because when you see a team this committed, only good things come from it,” Udoka said.
Free agency is a major event in the NBA calendar and it’s important to be a step ahead of 29 other teams in the league. “We’re going to make a great impression,” Fertitta said during an event at the facility. “Like I said, most teams don’t have a facility of this size in the middle of the city. And I think once again, this gives us an edge other teams don’t have.” The facility is designed to be state-of-the-art. At the same time, has 75,000 square feet, which is tripled the size at Toyota Center. After three seasons of missing the playoffs, Fertitta is making it known that his team is ready to compete in all facets.