LA Sparks staff laid off, owners tell WNBA they can't continue

Candace Parker and other Sparks on the home floor at Staples Center. Noah Graham/

Bad news out of the WNBA about one of the league's cornerstone franchises. Los Angeles Sparks president Vincent Malcolm, executive VP and general manager Penny Toler and coach Carol Ross were laid off by the team on Dec. 31. Owner and chairwoman Paula Williams Madison told the league that her family-owned company would no longer be involved, the LA Times reports. "This was a big surprise to us," league president Laurel Richie said Thursday. "Right before the holidays, I got a call from Paula letting me know that she and her family were no longer in a position to continue with the Sparks."

Richie insists that the team would not fold and that new owners would be found.

The WNBA has not yet posted a schedule for next season — or posted anything on the situation in Los Angeles. Sparks star Candace Parker is the reigning league MVP.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Power out Monday across Malibu
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more
Recent Sports stories on LA Observed:
Now who do I root for? World Cup down to its final eight
Yes, there will still be a World Cup. No, the USA is not playing. So what now?
Dodger Stadium announcement
The night Kirk Gibson made deadline
They said it in Indian Wells
The kids on court at Indian Wells
Venus rising
USC sells Coliseum name to United Airlines


LA Observed on Twitter