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Los Angeles Sparks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Abigail Hull   
Thursday, 20 December 2007

HISTORY:

The Los Angeles Sparks are a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1997, the Sparks are one of the eight original WNBA teams and they played in the league's inaugural game against the New York Liberty creating the league's first rivalries. The Sparks was the sister team of the Los Angeles Lakers until the team's sale in 2006. . The team uniform is gold with purple lines on the side at home, with the name Sparks written across in purple. Purple with golden yellow lines on the side on the road, with the name Los Angeles in Yellow. The uniform looks similar to the Los Angeles Lakers' uniform.

Los Angeles Sparks lost the inguguarl game to the New York Liberty. Sparks player Penny Toler scored the league's first two points with a lay-up in that game. The Sparks finished their first season with a record of 14–14. The team did compete for a playoff spot, but a loss to the Phoenix Mercury in the final game of the season cost the Sparks a playoff berth.

In 1998, the Sparks finished 12–18, missing the playoffs once more.

The 1999 season featured the development of Lisa Leslie and the Sparks' first playoff berth with a season record of 20–12. The Sparks won their first playoff game and series with a win over the Sacramento Monarchs. They played a competitive Western Conference Finals but lost to the defending champion Houston Comets, 2 games to 1, in a three-game series.

The 2000 season the Sparks finished with a record of 28–4 record. In the playoffs, the Sparks swept the Phoenix Mercury in the first round but lost in the West Finals again, when they were swept by the Defending Champions Houston Comets.

The 2000-01 offseason saw a coaching change, when former Los Angeles Lakers player Michael Cooper was hired as head coach.

In the 2001 season, the Sparks again posted a 28–4 record. In the playoffs, the Sparks eliminated the Houston Comets, sweeping the first round. The Sparks defeted the Sacramento Monarchs, 2 games to 1, to earn their first berth in the WNBA Finals. The Sparks swept the Charlotte Sting, 2–0, for their first league championship.

In 2002, Leslie became the first woman in the league to dunk the ball during a game. The Sparks finished the season with a 25–7 record. The Sparks returned to the CHampionship game by , sweeping both the Seattle Storm and the Utah Starzz. In the finals, the Sparks met their rivals the New Yprk Liberty, who were still looking for their first championship. The Sparks were able to win their second champioship in a 2-1 series.

In 2003, the Sparks posted a 24–10 record. The Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx and Sacramento Monarchs 2 games to 1 in each series to reach the WNBA Finals for a thrid year in a row. The Sparks played Detroit Shock in the finals losing the series 2 games to 1.

During the 2003-04 offseason, the Sparks signed two standout players, Tamika Whitmore and Teresa Weatherspoon. Coach Cooper left at midseason to seek a coaching job in the NBA. Though finishing the regular season with a record of 25-9, the loss of their coach has been cited as the reason the Spark's the team stumbled in the play offs, losing in the first round three games to the Sacramento Monarchs.

In 2005 The Sparks struggled and finished with a 17–17 record. They barely made the playoffs as the number-four seed. In the first round, the Sparks were swept by the eventual champion Sacramento Monarchs.

In 2006, the Sparks posted a 25–9 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Seattle Storm in three games. However, in the Western Conference finals, the SparksOff Court - Administration [Joomla!] were swept by the Sacramento Monarchs.

After the 2006 season ended, team owner Jerry Buss, who also owned the Lakers, announced he was selling the Sparks. On December 7, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported the sale to an investor group led by Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson. Goodman is currently a high school teacher at HighTechHigh-LA in Lake Balboa and was a former executive for Intermedia Films. Christofferson is a litigation attorney for the O’Melveny & Myers law firm and was Miss North Dakota USA in 1989. The day after the sale was announced, team star Lisa Leslie announced that she was pregnant and would not play in the WNBA in the 2007 season. Coach Michael Cooper returned to the team as head coach.

In 2007 the Sparks posted a league-worst 10–24 record with many blaming the loss if Lisa Leslie as the reason for the Spark's poor performance. The record was also the worst in Sparks history, and Sparks failed to make playoffs for the first time since 1998.

Before the start of the 2008 season, Lisa Leslie returned to the team, and on April 9, 2008, the team used its number-one draft pick to select Candace Parker, the college player of the year, the morning after Parker had led the University of Tennessee Lady Vols to their second-straight NCAA championship.

LOCATION:

The LA Sparks currently play at Staples Center located at 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles CA.  Information about Guest Services and parking can been seen here .

The team offices are located at 888 S.Figueroa Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone: (213) 929-1300 Fax: (213) 929-1325

TICKETS:

For single game tickets contact Ticket Master

For Season Tickets: 877-447-7257 

Visiting Fans will finds seats behind the visitor's bench in section 102 and section 103.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

The team website can be found here .

TRANSPORTATION:

 

HOTELS:

 

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