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February 4, 2014 at 6:22 PM

WNBA to announce Magic Johnson as new Sparks co-owner, source says

SparksLogoThe monthlong saga of what will happen to the Los Angeles Sparks appears to be over. Broadcaster Larry Burnett, the voice of the Sparks, wrote on his blog that NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be part of a group that purchases the franchise. Burrnett also posted on his Twitter account the press conference is set for Wednesday at 10am (PT). WNBA president Laurel Richie and Johnson are expected to be in attendance.

Johnson’s self-named Magic Johnson Enterprises has a reported net worth of $700 million. Johnson diversified his business holdings with ventures such as the Aspire cable network and buying in to the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.

His help to resolve the Sparks situation should put the league’s other important business into overdrive.

News that the former LA owners would no longer operate the team was a surprise, thus putting the 2014 schedule on hold when it was near completion, according to a Storm source. Teams continued to sell tickets, however.

Burnett said Johnson intends to keep the team in LA, which wouldn’t alter the schedule and clearing way for its immediate release.

The WNBA is supposed to be in the midst of free agency but put talks for its new collective-bargaining agreement on hold, too, according to multiple news sources. The new CBA should be announced quickly so that the league can negotiate with its players for summer contracts, hold its draft slated for April and start the season in May as planned.

League front-office news from coaching hires in Phoenix (Sandy Brondello), Atlanta (Michael Cooper) and Tulsa (Fred Williams) to the league moving the All-Star game to Phoenix from Connecticut, kept a tarp over the glaring LA mess since it was announced Jan. 2.

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