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. The team is owned by Williams Group Holdings (Paula Madison, majority owner) and Carla Christofferson, Kathy Goodman, and Lisa Leslie (minority owners). 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. The Sparks have qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in eleven of their fourteen years in Los Angeles. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as 6 foot 5 inch center Tennessee standout Candace Parker, flashy point guard Nikki Teasley and nearby USC product Tina Thompson. In 2001, 2002 and 2003, the Sparks went to the WNBA Finals.
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