As we head into another week of waiting for news, I'll share some more news that I've heard from an anonymous source about the Sparks situation - but you have to get to the bottom of the thread to see it. Nate Parham has already shared that his sources tell him that the Golden State Warriors organization will purchase the Sparks and relocate them to the San Francisco/Oakland area. So for those of you who were hoping that Sparks Watch would get to Day 100, you're going to be disappointed.
Right now, the WNBA has a lot on its plate.
* It wants to get the Sparks situation resolved.
* It needs to get the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players finalized.
* After all of that, it has to come up with a league schedule.
That's enough to keep anybody busy, and might be a partial excuse as to why we've heard virtually nothing from the W.
However, the Warriors ownership (like the WNBA) has a lot on its plate.
* It is involved with a political struggle with the city of San Francisco regarding the building of a new arena.
* The Warriors are second in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and are firming up for a playoff appearance.
* It, too, would like to get the Sparks situation resolved sooner or later.
The WNBA had to have realized that there was a hair-trigger component to these negotiations. If the WNBA were too insistent about the team remaining in Los Angeles now and forever - well, the Warriors might shout back, "we're tired of this picayune b***s***t - drop dead, WNBA." Powerful people like the Lacobs don't like it when other people tell them how to spend their money or what to do.
Previously, on Sparks Watch
Previously, on Sparks Watch
If the Warriors were the team's only suitors, the WNBA might have had to take whatever concessions it could get and not press too much. Yes, having the franchise move to San Francisco was not its preferred option. But it beat out all of the alternatives.
Both glenn.starkey.96 (in fan comments) and Nate Parham have remarked that this doesn't give the Warriors ownership much time to put things together for 2014. However, I suspect strongly that the Lacobs have planned out - in their minds, if not on paper - just exactly what would be needed to make a relocation work. Rumors that some team somewhere would relocate to San Francisco have been around for a long time. I believe that things will work fairly quickly once any announcement was made.
But what about Los Angeles?
If the Warriors had decided to run the team in Los Angeles - which is undoubtedly what the WNBA had preferred - then the Sparks would have been undoubtedly run in Los Angeles with the statement by Warriors ownership that at the end of the 2014 season, they would "re-evaluate their options". (Insert knowing chuckle here.) Don't know if there's much more to say about that other than making someone really depressed.
Now, back to my anonymous source. My source tells me that the WNBA has no interest in running the Sparks on its own dime. If the current negotiations with the Warriors' ownership fail, the WNBA will just fold the Sparks and deal with the disappointment. My theory is that the WNBA wanted to avoid the situation in 2008 when they were left running the Comets.
Of course, it's still possible that an angel owner could come in and buy the Sparks. This is the get-down-on-your-knees-and-pray solution, because it would certainly answer all of the WNBA's prayers. It would also keep the door open for relocating one of the other WNBA teams to San Fran while keeping the Sparks alive in L.A. The best of all worlds, but looking less and less likely by the minutes. Sparks fans don't just need petitions, they need prayers too if they want the Sparks to stay in Los Angeles.
Could the WNBA make a better deal, and if so, how? Let us know in the comments below!
- Source: Golden State Warriors ready to acquire L.A. Sparks within 2-3 weeks
- Sparks Watch Day 10: Links to recent pieces regarding the team's ownership situation
- Sparks Watch Day 9: Can we get answers?
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