Gulf States Toyota Owner & CEO and Friedkin Group President & CEO Dan Friedkin in a statement said that he is "interested in buying" the Rockets. Houston-based KRIV-Fox' Mark Berman noted Friedkin’s Gulf States Toyota has the "exclusive rights to deliver Toyota vehicles in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi." Forbes "lists Friedkin’s net worth" at $3.1B (FOX26HOUSTON.com, 8/14). In Houston, Reid Laymance notes Friedkin Group "has interests in the luxury hospitality, golf and entertainment industries." Gulf States Toyota also "has a relationship with the Rockets through Toyota’s naming rights of the Rockets’ arena" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/15).
MOVERS & SHAKERS: In Ottawa, Garrioch & Willing report Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Friday met with Mayor Jim Watson to "provide an update on negotiations for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats" for a possible new arena. It is "paramount that Melnyk and the Senators have the backing of the league to build the arena downtown and Melnyk has been bullish that this move is important for the future of the franchise." The Senators are "hoping to hold opening night at their new downtown arena" in October '21 if everything falls into place in negotiations with Ottawa's National Capital Commission, but there is "still a lot of work to be done for that to become reality" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 8/15).
RETURN TO MLK DAY: In Memphis, Ronald Tillery reports the Grizzlies in the '17-18 season will return to the NBA's Martin Luther King Jr. Day slate after "not playing on the holiday last season." The Grizzlies’ return to the MLK Day schedule is "significant because Memphis had played on that day" from '03 until last season. April 4 also "marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel, which houses the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis." The game is the Grizzlies’ "only appearance on TNT" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/15).