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Maybe This Spark Needs to Be Plugged

July 28, 2001

Some of your columnists may continue to mock it, but the WNBA becomes more like men's professional sports leagues every day.

On July 21, the Sparks hosted a photo and autograph session for their season-ticket holders. We got the chance to meet Coach Michael Cooper and his players, all of whom were pleasant, approachable and accommodating, with one exception: "superstar" Lisa Leslie.

After posing for some photos, Lisa clearly didn't want to sign autographs; she made every effort to leave the event early. Convinced by team officials to stay, she was then snotty and sarcastic to members of my party.

If we had interrupted her during a meal or bothered her in public, I would have understood. But this was a gathering specifically for the organization's most loyal fans to meet their players. If Lisa's too good to spare a few minutes and make a bit of small talk as every other member of her team did, the Sparks should exclude her from future fan events.

John Erich

Van Nuys

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