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Basketball - 07. February 2014.

USA - Legendary 'Magic' Johnson helps secure future of LA Sparks

LOS ANGELES (WNBA) - After several weeks of uncertainty over one of the flagship franchises of the WNBA, the future of the Los Angeles Sparks has been secured by a consortium group led by the legendary Earvin 'Magic' Johnson.

The future of the Sparks had been thrown into serious since December, when the former owners unexpectedly decided to give up control in a move which resulted in a scramble to find new people to take up the reins.

Sparks fans have finally been put out of their agony after the WNBA rubber-stamped the purchase of the franchise by a team including not only Johnson, but also Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club owner, Mark Walter.

"This is a great day for the city of Los Angeles and the Sparks," said Johnson.

"The leaders of this great city came together quickly to keep this franchise right where it belongs - in the city of Angels.

"Thanks to my sister Evelyn playing college basketball, I have a great appreciation of the talented players that represent the WNBA.

"Our group will now work together to bring our loyal fans another WNBA championship."

Walters meanwhile added: "Earvin came to me and said we need to help save the Sparks and keep them in Los Angeles.

"The decision was quite easy for our investment group due to the passion Magic has for this city, these great athletes and our wonderful fans.

"This team and its great players should remain a part of the sports fabric of this phenomenal city."

The arrival of Johnson and Walter at the Sparks will no doubt give a huge boost to the profile of the entire league and unsurprisingly, WNBA President Laurel J Richie was quick to welcome the duo.

"We are thrilled to welcome Magic Johnson and Mark Walter to the WNBA," she said.

"With their proven track record in the business realm, their commitment to the city of Los Angeles through civic engagement, and their passion for the game of basketball, we look forward to partnering with our new owners to usher in a new era for this iconic team.

"This is a great day for Los Angeles, the Sparks franchise, its' players and of course the loyal fans who have been so supportive of the team for 17 seasons."

The club will continue to play at the Staples Center.
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