Earvin "Magic" Johnson is no stranger to professional sports team ownership, this after he was a part owner of his former squad, The Los Angeles Lakers. The savvy businessman, who was instrumental in a group that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, returns with essentially the same team of investors to buy the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.
The New York Times reported on the deal for the team, which has been struggling to turn a profit. Paula Madison, the majority owner of the Sparks since 2007, said she's lost close to $13 million dollars in trying to turn the team around and laid off its entire staff on December 31. Johnson believes he and his investment group can turn the team's fortunes around.
From the Times:
Johnson and Mark Walter, the chairman of the Dodgers, bought the W.N.B.A.'s Los Angeles Sparks, the league and team announced Wednesday at Staples Center.
“I love the Sparks; I was at the first game,” Johnson said of the 1997 game against the Liberty that marked the W.N.B.A.'s debut. “I had three sisters who played. Mark has a daughter who plays right now, and my daughter played for two years. We love women's basketball already. This is a no-brainer for us.”
Johnson and Walter are confident they can bring the team up to speed, building upon its league-leading attendance record and the dominance of marquee player and current WNBA MVP Candace Parker.
Photo: Judy Eddy/WENN