We aren't quite one year into the Magic Johnson era of the Los Angeles Sparks, but he has already made a significant impact on the WNBA. His group's ownership of the team has guaranteed the team long term stability going forward. And on Monday, January 5, the NBA legend hired Brian Agler as his new head coach.
January 5 just happened to be the one year anniversary of the Sparks Fan Petition, when two fans, Chris Woodmansee and Callan McClurg created a petition on change.org. We were among the sites that linked to it, and the petition ultimately received 1,170 signatures.
McClurg, who now runs a regular WNBA video show called LA Sparks 365 revisits the one year anniversary of the petition. Both he and Woodmansee decided to create the petition to give Sparks fans a voice, not solely for themselves. You can watch a video of McClurg giving his take in the video above where he's revisiting the one year anniversary of the petition's launch. This is part of his one year anniversary take of the Sparks' ordeal: you can also watch Day 1 and Day 2 here.
I remember when this whole ordeal started, it seemed like an inevitability that they were folding, or perhaps moving to the Bay Area under the ownership of Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob. Coincidentally, this is the one year anniversary of Day 5 of our Sparks Watch series in 2014, when I discussed what could happen to the league if the Sparks did fold. I don't know if I would 100% agree with McClurg that the league would be toast if the Sparks folded in 2014. However, as I noted on my Sparks Watch post, it would be a black eye to the league nevertheless.
After watching McClurg's video and looking back on that time, I'm happy that we here at Swish Appeal played our part in keeping the Sparks issue alive each and every day. This was when there wasn't anything of consequence to talk about and with the WNBA staying silent on the issue until the very end. Like McClurg, Woodmansee, and other fans, we wanted a quick resolution to the matter, which would be in the best interest of the league and the upcoming season.
Fortunately, things worked out for the best as the Sparks remained in L.A., and even though Lacob came up empty handed, it's also a good thing to see that there are more very rich people who are interested in owning a team, whether as an expansion franchise, or should another team be in a precarious situation.
In 2014, the Sparks' fans were thankful because they still had a team to root for. The same could have gone for the players. That could have played a part in their disappointing season which resulted in former head coach Carol Ross' midseason termination.
But in 2015, not only do they have a strong ownership group, but they now have Brian Agler, one of the best head coaches in the league leading their talented squad with Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike leading the way. If Agler can get the Sparks to play at a high level right away like he did during the first several years of his tenure with the Seattle Storm, we may see them reach those heights once again.