Magic Johnson, Mark Walter Reportedly to Buy Los Angeles Sparks WNBA Franchise

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IFebruary 4, 2014

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Magic Johnson and Mark Walter have already proven that they have deep pockets with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but now the duo is planning to buy another franchise.

According to Romona Shelburne of ESPN, Johnson and Walter are set to own stake in the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA:

Citing a source close to the situation, Shelburne explains in her report the main reasons for the duo to purchase the struggling team:

The Sparks, one of the original eight WNBA franchises, have been in limbo since Christmas when their previous owner, Paula Madison, abruptly told the league and Sparks coaches and employees that her company could no longer operate the team. Madison subsequently told the Associated Press that her family lost $12 million operating the franchise since buying it from the Buss family in 2007 and $1.4 million last season.

The original talks were that the Golden State Warriors might buy out the franchise and move them closer to Oakland, but it appears the team will stay put under Johnson and Walter, who already own the Dodgers in the same area.

Amber Cox, the Associate Commissioner for Women's Basketball for the Big East, gave her thoughts on the purchase by Johnson and Walter:

What this means for the Sparks is that they are in good hands under Johnson and Walter, who have proven they can turn around a team even after it was poorly run, which was the case before they took over with the Dodgers.

For Johnson and Walter, no saving will be necessary on the court. The Sparks were a playoff team last season after finishing 24-10, but were bounced in the first round of the postseason by the Phoenix Mercury.

Though the announcement hasn't been made official, the WNBA announced it will hold a press conference for Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET with Johnson and president Laurel Richie outside of Staples Center.

With the group taking over another Los Angeles franchise, it will be interesting to see just how far they can take the team. One thing is for sure, the duo is certainly taking Hollywood by storm.


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