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2013-14 Los Angeles Sparks offseason: The Magic Johnson Era begins

After a disappointing exit from the 2013 WNBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Sparks are suddenly looking for new owners. After 35 days of wondering what would happen, former NBA and Lakers legend Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter acquire the team. Johnson and Walter are also part of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB team's ownership group.

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72 Total Updates since April 15, 2014
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  • Updates 10
  • Articles 50
  • All Updates 72

Round 3, Pick 11: Sparks select Antonita Slaughter

With the 35th pick in the WNBA Draft, the L.A. Sparks selected Louisville's Antonita Slaughter.

I mentioned her briefly after the NCAA Tournament here:

I'm not sure where Slaughter might rank among WNBA general managers, but she did shoot 12-for-25 from the three point line beyond the arc during Louisville's tournament run and Lisa Leslie has compared her style of play to that of Tina Thompson. Three point shooter prospects don't have a great track record in the WNBA, but Slaughter has the size that might get her a look.


Round 2, Pick 11: Sparks select Jennifer Hamson

The L.A. Sparks have selected BYU's Jennifer Hamson with the 23rd pick of the 2014 WNBA Draft.

Wows: She's tall (6'7"). In addition to being tall, she blocks shot at a rate about as high as former Baylor superstar Brittney Griner.

Wonders: Aside from her volleyball career possibly interrupting or delaying her basketball career, the big question is really about her strength and how well she'll be able to defend WNBA posts.

Worries: Hamson played in the WCC where there isn't anyone who plays frequently that stands anywhere near 6-foot-7. As such, she was not only being guarded by a number of smaller players but also being fronted by them for rebounds. Her numbers are impressive, but the strength of competition has to be a concern and more than one WCC coach figured out how to make her a non- or limited factor as a scorer this year.


A Day in the Life of Candace Parker in Russia

Here is a video showing a day in the life of Candace Parker while playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, her professional team during the WNBA offseason.


Wiggins signs with the L.A. Sparks

Today, the Los Angeles Sparks announced that they have signed free agent guard Candice Wiggins to a contract.


Seattle Storm acquires Jenna O'Hea from L.A.

Today, the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks were involved in a trade where the Storm acquires guard Jenna O'Hea in exchange for a second round draft pick for 2015.


L.A. Sparks sign Armintie Herrington

Today, the Los Angeles Sparks announced that they have signed Armintie Herrington, a free agent guard to a contract.


Gruda traded to L.A. from CT in exchange for picks

Today, the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks announced a trade, where the Sparks received the rights to Sandrine Gruda who they signed, and the Sun received the 11th pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft along with a 2015 second round draft pick.


SA community mock draft: Who should L.A. take #11?

With the penultimate pick of our 2014 WNBA community mock draft, we turn to the still Los Angeles-based Sparks.


Indiana Fever sign Marissa Coleman

"The Indiana Fever, rebuilding their roster after losing two guards from the 2012 WNBA champions, on Friday announced that they have signed 6-1 wing Marissa Coleman to a multiyear, free-agent contract." - Indystar


Goestenkors, Kloppenburg named Sparks assistants

The Los Angeles Sparks have announced that Gail Goestenkors and Gary Kloppenburg have joined Head Coach Carol Ross' staff as assistant coaches for the 2014 WNBA season.


Magic Johnson, Mark Walter comment on Sparks buy

New L.A. Sparks owners Magic Johnson and Mark Walter have officially commented on their acquisition of the L.A. Sparks.


Magic Johnson and other Dodgers owners purchase the Sparks

Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and other members of the Guggenheim Partners group that owns the Dodgers are buying the Sparks from Williams Group Holdings (and other minority owners), which had been losing money on the WNBA franchise. The only Dodger owner not involved in the purchase is Peter Guber, who is a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors who are looking to get an WNBA team.


Magic Johnson & the Dodgers to buy the LA Sparks

The WNBA will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time) at Staples Center's Star Plaza in regards to the Los Angeles Sparks. Former NBA and Naismith Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson will be part of a new ownership group for the team.


Sparks may have new owners who'd keep them in LA

There may be an ownership group out there who would keep the Sparks in Los Angeles after all.


Sparks Watch Day 19: Should Ross stay as HC?

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day everyone! On today's chapter of Sparks Watch, it's going to be part of a three part series on head coach candidates for the team, unless or until the news tells us otherwise. In the first part, we'll ask if Carol Ross is the right fit for the team in 2014.


Sparks Watch Day 16: "Will I get my money back?"

With the possibility of the Sparks folding or relocated, those Sparks fans that have bought season tickets are undoubtedly worried that they won't see their deposit money again. So what has happened in those cases in the past where teams folded after season ticket holders made deposits?


Sparks Watch Day 11: GSW ready to move on a deal

Swish Appeal has learned that the Golden State Warriors are looking to complete a deal to acquire the LA Sparks in the next couple of weeks.


Sparks Watch Day 6: what makes a good owner?

We still don't know who will be the new owner of the Los Angeles Sparks - but what traits do good sports owners possess?


Sparks Watch Day 5: Can the WNBA last without LA?

We look at the possible consequences of what could happen if the Sparks fold. These include what it would mean for the WNBA for the short term logistically, symbolically, and also if it could have long term impacts on the league's survival.


Sparks owners asked WNBA for financial assistance

James Bowman put together a piece yesterday outlining what we think we know about what led up to the news of the Los Angeles Sparks ownership group giving up their franchise.

Two additional details emerged yesterday as the L.A. media is starting to dig into this story a bit.

  • CBS LA reported that the Williams Group Holdings ownership group notified the WNBA of its intention to find new owners on December 16, consistent with reports that league president Laurel Richie found out about the issue "before the holidays".
  • Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times reported that CEO Paula Madison, "...asked the league if it could help provide financial assistance for the Sparks, but was told the WNBA was not in a position do so." It's not clear if that happened on December 16 or prior.

What still stands out as curious: what changed between December 5 - when they announced an extension of coach Carol Ross' contract - and December 16?

To keep up on this story as it develops, check out our L.A. Sparks offseason storystream.


Sparks Watch Day 3: Who will be the new owner?

The owners of the Golden State Warriors look like the #1 candidates to become the new owners of the Sparks - but who would the other candidates be?


Golden State Warriors interested in buying Sparks

The NBA's Golden State Warriors, led by their majority owner Joe Lacob, have expressed interest in acquiring the Los Angeles Sparks WNBA team.


Sparks Watch Day 2: "What happened?"

Wherein we try to recreate the timeline, and separate what we know from what we don't know.


WNBA looking for new LA Sparks owner

The Los Angeles Sparks franchise is currently at a crossroads after owner Paula Madison notified league president Laurel Richie that she would be unable to continue running the team just before the Christmas holiday.


L.A. Sparks seeking new ownership

WNBA takes control of the Sparks, trying to find new owners


How the Mercury won two road games to beat L.A.

The Phoenix Mercury defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 78-77 in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Although the final moments of the game made for dramatic highlights, there was one primary statistic that explained why the Mercury won the game.


For the L.A. Sparks, it's Finals or bust

Forget the Mercury -- the Sparks need a finals appearance to take the next step. (Yes, they also need to beat the Mercury)

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