June 20, 1997 |
Zheng Haixia takes a seat. Practice is over, and Zheng lowers her 6-foot-8, 254-pound body onto a stainless-steel chair, planting her size-18 shoes. At her side sits Wendy Chang, a student from Cal State Long Beach, who is 18 inches shorter and comparatively light as a feather. On her, a chair like this looks as roomy as one from an aircraft's first-class cabin. We enjoy a nice three-way conversation.
July 17, 1997 |
Spark Coach Linda Sharp was fired by her former USC point guard Wednesday, about three hours before the WNBA team played the Houston Comets. Assistant coach Julie Rousseau, 32, a former UC Irvine player, was named interim head coach. General Manager Rhonda Windham cited the underachieving team's emotional deportment as a key reason for the quick hook on Sharp, 47, who was only 11 games into the 28-game season. The Sparks were 4-7 before defeating Houston, 77-52.
June 8, 2007 |
The new owners of the Sparks walked right past the floor seats set aside for them last Saturday night in Arco Arena. Carla Christofferson and Kathy Goodman, longtime Sparks season ticket-holders, instead veered to their right and climbed up an aisle behind the Sparks bench toward the upper reaches of the arena's lower bowl, cheerily settling in among two busloads of Sparks fans who had made the trip from Southern California.
October 3, 2008 |
Expectations for a No. 1 overall draft pick often exceed reality. That's not the case for Sparks forward Candace Parker. She was better. Tonight, one day after accepting WNBA rookie of the year honors, Parker is expected to be named the league's most valuable player. The announcement will come during Game 2 of the WNBA finals in San Antonio and it will make her the first WNBA player to win both awards, regardless of the year.
July 31, 2006 |
Lisa Leslie stood between Seattle's Betty Lennox and the lane with the Sparks leading the Storm by three points in the final seconds. So when Lennox opted not to pass and instead drove in for a shot, Leslie was more than willing to let her have the basket. "I was like, 'Oh, you can have two,' " Leslie said. "I thought she was going to make that pass, but she didn't. It was clearly a mistake on her part."
April 26, 2000 |
The Sparks went small, then big with their first two picks in the WNBA's player draft on Tuesday. First, with the 15th pick of the first round, the club selected 5-foot-9 Nebraska guard Nicole Kubik, then, in the second round, chose 6-5 Connecticut center Paige Sauer with the 31st pick. UCLA's Maylana Martin was the 10th overall pick, by Minnesota. The No. 1 pick, by Cleveland, was Ann Wauters, a 20-year-old, 6-foot-4 Belgian.
August 31, 2001 |
Loosely translated in the Nigerian dialect of her godparents, her first name means "Unto us God has given grace." Not to mention, eight ungodly good minutes Thursday that probably gave the Sparks the WNBA championship. In a 75-66 victory in the finals opener against the Charlotte Sting, the game's most famous name was overshadowed by the one most misunderstood.
June 27, 2009 |
Walking into the Southwest College gym during the first week of training camp, Tina Thompson was conflicted. After signing a three-year deal with the Sparks, this should have been her homecoming. A Los Angeles native, the two-time league MVP was a star at Inglewood Morningside High and then USC. Yet, after a 12-year career with one team, the Houston Comets, she now felt like a tourist. It's not that she doesn't still love L.A. She is wearing No.
June 11, 2008 |
Detroit Shock Coach Bill Laimbeer was describing the similarities in style between his WNBA team and the Detroit Pistons, where he bumped, banged and scowled for 14 seasons. He then made comparisons between the Sparks and the Lakers teams of the 1980s, when Sparks Coach Michael Cooper made a name for himself as a feisty Lakers veteran.
August 16, 1997 |
As WNBA teams pass the seven-eighths pole, the Sparks begin a sprint to the Western Conference finish line that they hope will carry them to the league's 48-hour postseason. Los Angeles (10-13) plays the Utah Starzz (6-17) in Salt Lake City tonight, returns home for games against Phoenix, New York and Sacramento, and finishes the regular season at Phoenix on Aug. 24. Recent events suggest that final game at America West Arena may be for the conference championship.