The WNBA has formally announced that an investment group headlined by L.A. Lakers legend Magic Johnson has purchased the L.A. Sparks and will keep them in Southern California.
From the WNBA release:
"This is a great day for the city of Los Angeles and the Sparks," said Johnson. "The leaders of this great city came together quickly to keep this franchise right where it belongs-in the city of Angels. Thanks to my sister, Evelyn, playing college basketball, I have a great appreciation of the talented players that represent the WNBA. Our group will now work together to bring our loyal fans another WNBA championship. "
"Earvin came to me and said we need to help save the Sparks and keep them in Los Angeles," Walter said. "The decision was quite easy for our investment group due to the passion Magic has for this city, these great athletes and our phenomenal fans. This team and its great players should remain a part of the sports fabric of this wonderful city."
During the press conference, Johnson also dropped a few additional tidbits:
- He mentioned discussing the team with Penny Toler and leaving the team the decisions to her and Ross, who were technically laid off at the time Paula Madison's group gave up the team. That seems to suggest they're going to keep the previous staff in place.
- For those dissatisfied with the WNBA's handling of this situation, Johnson commended WNBA president Laurel Richie saying that he would not have gotten involved without her leadership.
I knew @MagicJohnson would come through with an "assist"!!!!!— Ticha Penicheiro (@TichaPenicheiro) February 5, 2014
Noteworthy from that WNBA release:
- "The WNBA's 2014 game and television schedule will also be announced this week."
- Despite questions about how the cost of rent at Staples Center might have impacted Madison's decision to sell the Sparks, the team will continue to play there.
To read the full release, check out WNBA.com.
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