Lauren KellyBy Lauren Kelly

**Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has put the franchise up for sale, team president Tad Brown announced Monday in a news conference after Alexander reached his decision.

Brown said Alexander, who is 73, has no health issues that led to the decision to sell the team and Clutch City Sports and Entertainment nearly 24 years to the day after he purchased the team from Charlie Thomas. He said Alexander reached the decision that shocked the NBA, the organization and even those closest to him.

“It’s something he’s been thinking about a little bit,” Brown said. “It can wear on you after so many decades. There are passions in his life now that are becoming more and more clear, his family and his philanthropic efforts.”

Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta apparently has an interest in purchasing the team, saying, “I definitely have an interest. Just hope it doesn’t go for crazy numbers. I’ve never really wanted to own a professional team outside of Houston. Houston is my hometown and the place I would prefer to own a professional team.”


**The Season Seven premiere of “Game of Thrones” attracted a record 16.1 million viewers within 12 hours. That includes the initial telecast, plus streaming and DVR numbers. And it will get a lot bigger as more data comes in.

Naturally, the show set new ratings records. The initial telecast had 10.1 million viewers, which on its own is a HUGE number for pay cable, and if you include DVR viewing, streaming, and encore airings, it’s at 16.1 million viewers.

That’s just within the first 12 hours of the initial airing, so you can expect the audience number to grow as additional DVR and streaming numbers pour in.

It’s on pace to be 50% bigger than the Season Six premiere, which ultimately attracted 25.7 million viewers WITH late streaming and DVR numbers factored in.

Sunday’s episode was also the show’s most-Tweeted about episode of all time.


**NBC is doing a live version of “A Few Good Men” in the spring of 2018, and they just announced that Alec Baldwin will play Colonel Nathan Jessep, the same role that Jack Nicholson played in the original 1992 movie…but don’t expect him to imitate Jack. The writer says this will be, quote, “a brand new take” on the character.

Alec will get THE line of the show: “You can’t handle the truth!” and according to writer Aaron Sorkin he said quote, “This will be a brand new take on Nathan Jessep, and I expect that Alec is going to bust through TV screens and right into living rooms.”

They haven’t cast anyone else yet.


**Celebrities have been known to do such strange things to avoid attention (or to GET attention,) but yesterday seemed to be the craziest headline of them yet.

A lot of places reported that Taylor Swift snuck out of her New York apartment by climbing into a large suitcase and having two men CARRY her out.

It all started with a paparazzi company, which released a photo of the two men carrying the suitcase. They captioned it, quote, “Taylor Swift being transported in a huge suitcase from her Tribeca apartment into her truck, in the trunk.”

Later in the day, they took it back and changed the caption to, “Taylor Swift’s security guards are seen moving a huge case into the trunk of a waiting SUV.”

The agency also said that the person who made the mistake was “not really a regular photographer” that they use, and that the person had NOT personally verified that Taylor was inside.


**Last month, socks with sandals showed up at a Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris, but THIS tops the WHAT IN THE WORLD? List by far.

Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane just rolled out a new product: LUXURY CROCS. They look like basic Crocs, except that they’ve got some small rocks attached to them.

They’re selling online for $216, which is at least 10 times what a pair of non-luxury Crocs will run you.


**A new study on found the recipe that people in every state Google the most. Banana bread is the most popular in three states: Kansas, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Recipes for things like cake, chili, and tacos are the most popular in two states: Indiana and Tennessee…but in Idaho, the top search is “zucchini recipes.”

So which recipes are people in Texas googling most to cook? Cookies.


** claims Simon Cowell recently paid for a 15 year-old girl’s back surgery.

Julia Carlile competed on Britain’s Got Talent before disclosing she has scoliosis and may have trouble dancing in the future. Simon gave Julia $230,000 for her operation.

She tells the Liverpool Echo; “Simon came and spoke to us backstage. He said he was paying for it and I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t have to do it and he has changed my life. There are no word to thank him for how grateful we are. It’s just unbelievable. It does not feel real.”


**Ed Sheeran’s acting list keeps on growing, he’s got another huge new cameo to add to his resume. The Daily Telegraph claims Ed Sheeran is going to guest star on The Simpsons.

He Instagrammed a picture of himself as a yellow Simpsons character along with the caption; “This year continues to be equally surreal and amazing. Watch out for this one, me and Lisa have a whole thing going on x”.

During the episode, Ed will get caught in a love triangle with Lisa and Nelson. The episode will parody Ryan Gosling’s movie ”La La Land.”


**Jessica Alba is pregnant and expecting her third child with husband Cash Warren.

The actress posted a sweet pic on Instagram on Monday, July 17, clutching her baby bump and holding a balloon with the number 3 alongside her two children, Honor, 9, and Haven, 5.

“@cashwarren and I are officially going to be outnumbered #babyonboard #herewegoagain #blessed,” she captioned the sweet snap.

The Honest Company cofounder, 36, sported a slight baby bump while vacationing in Oahu, Hawaii, on Saturday, July 15.


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