Morning Shootaround

Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta open to fans' suggestions on uniforms

When Tillman Fertitta took over as the new owner of the Houston Rockets weeks ago, it was a dream come true for the native Houstonian. As his Rockets look to navigate the Western Conference and reach their first NBA Finals since 1995, Fertitta is taking a look at many aspects of the team at large.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen, Fertitta says he’s willing to change up the Rockets’ uniforms and wants input from many sources on that — including fans:

Fertitta is not planning to change Rockets uniforms, most recently overhauled in 2003. He likes the look. But Fertitta said he was open to suggestions, knowing team uniforms are a hot-button issue sure to generate all sorts of opinions from change everything to change nothing to many ideas in between.

“It takes two years to change uniforms,” Fertitta said. “You always look at what’s new out there. I’m going to take feedback from the fans. If they think we ought to change uniforms, we’re going to change uniforms. I think they are pretty nice as it is. I’m not going to be one of these owners that comes in and says I’m going to change uniforms because I can. If everybody loves these uniforms, we’ll stick with it. If everybody has mixed emotions, we’ll look at it.

“We’re in the hospitality business. We’re in the service business. Fans should stay involved. That’s what we’re here for. You can’t have 4,000 different opinions. I don’t think they need to be totally changed. And I believe in brand building. There’s nothing wrong with a tweak.”

The most controversial change in the uniforms came in 1995 when the Rockets went from the ketchup and mustard design to the blue, silver and red uniforms with stripes and a shooting rocket logo.

That revision began shortly after the sale of the team to Leslie Alexander, before the Rockets won consecutive championships in their traditional uniforms.

Fertitta knew of the timetable to make any change, but so far considered a priority only to hear opinions, including his own that the current uniforms work. He was not ready to choose a sponsor for the uniform patch now allowed, saying only that the Rockets will be choosy in selecting the right partner and that his company will not advertise on his team’s uniforms.

“That would be a wasted opportunity,” Fertitta said. “We already have Landry’s and Golden Nugget’s support.”