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.

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