Los Angeles Sparks Team History
The WNBA began its first season on June 21, 1997 to little fanfare. The first WNBA game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles. The game was televised nationally in the United States on the NBC television network.
The 2001 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 2001 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the Charlotte Sting, fourth-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Los Angeles’ first title.
The Sparks made their first appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Sting also made their first Finals appearance.
Going into the series, no other team except the Houston Comets had ever won a WNBA championship (1997-2000).
The Sparks had a 28–4 record (.875), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Sting (18–14). It did not matter, however, as the Sparks swept the Sting.
The 2002 WNBA Finals was the championship series of the 2002 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Los Angeles’ second title. As of 2017, this is the last time a WNBA franchise won back to back championships.
The Liberty made their fourth appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Sparks made their second straight Finals appearance.
The Sparks went into the series as defending champions. 2002 marked their second WNBA championship. (The Houston Comets hold the record with four championships won.)
The Sparks had a 25–7 record (.781), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Liberty (18–14).
The 2016 WNBA Finals was the best-of-five championship series for the 2016 season of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The top-seeded Minnesota Lynx held home court advantage in the Finals, but lost three games to two to the second-seeded Los Angeles Sparks. The series followed a 2–2–1 format, and eschewed from the previous tradition of having the Western Conference champion face the Eastern Conference champion. Instead, in the 2016 season, the top eight teams qualified for the playoffs, regardless of conference. Both WNBA Finals teams were from the Western Conference. The Sparks won a semifinal series against the Chicago Sky to determine one of the Finals berths; the first-seeded Lynx defeated the Phoenix Mercury to earn the other. Candace Parker was named the 2016 WNBA Finals MVP. Renee Brown, outgoing Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations of the WNBA, issued statements following games 4 and 5 saying the referees had made an error in each game. Nevertheless, the Sparks won the series 3 games to 2.
The Los Angeles Sparks are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California, playing in the Western Conference in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the league’s inaugural 1997 season began. Like some other WNBA teams, the Sparks have the distinction of not being affiliated with an NBA counterpart, even though the market is shared with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. As of 2015, the Sparks are the last franchise to win back-to-back titles.
1997 – Present / Women’s National Basketball Association
1997 – Present / Los Angeles Sparks
Sparks – The Sparks nickname should related to the their NBA counterpart Lakers, however sparks of fire seem like the opposite of lakes.
WNBA Championships 3
2001, 2002, 2016
2001 – Present / Staples Center
1997 – 2000 / The Forum
2014 – Present / Sparks LA Sports, LLC
2011 – 2014 / Williams Group Holdings
2007 – 2011 / Gemini Basketball LLC
1997 – 2006 / Jerry Buss
9 Lisa Leslie
11 Penny Toler
*Blue is this team’s history