I know this blog is way before the season but I have #5 reasons why you should, too. I know everyone has been selecting the number 15 because of the 15th season and such, but I don’t need that many reasons. The Sparks have always been a good team. Now they have everything they need to go hard this year.
#1 Candace Parker’s Return. Candace Parker was the #1 draft pick in 2008. I know yall remember that moment. Right before, Candace won the Championship with Pat Summit and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Not to mention that the year before the Lady Vols one the championship. She has too many NCAA awards that I can’t list them all so you’re going to have to check those out on your own time. In the WNBA, she was Rookie of the Year as well as being the League MVP. In her Debut game she scored 34 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished 8 assists. With those 34 points she broke a Rookie Debut Record. Any ways enough with the beginning, let’s go back to last year. In 2010, she played only 10 games, but in those 10 games, she played with the same conviction and with the same heart. She was out throughout her years in the WNBA with a Shoulder Injury and Maternity leave. Now, she is a proud mother with a shoulder scar haha. But Seriously, Bionic Woman is BACK and you should be trembling. She is one WNBA player that is a recking ball when healthy.
#2 Acquisition of Ebony Hoffman Obviously I’m gonna be kinda biased towards this seeing how I run The WNBA Movement page for Ebony Hoffman, but she will be a integral part of this Spark’s playoff run. She previously suited up with the Indiana Fever. With them, she averaged 11 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.3 ap. But we honestly know it’s not all about the stats. She has been a great part of that team. The Fever has playing at a Forward position, but she is a great shooting Forward. I’m not saying that Forwards have terrible Jumpers but she is one of the best shooters. She can take you through the paint and back you down or she can get the dish from a teammate and through that outside jumper right in your face. Not only does she do that, but she is a great passing Forward. If there’s ever a back door play and she has the ball, she’s getting it into that hole, regardless of the size. She has so much precision and accuracy in everything she does.
#3 Rookies LAS has always treated their rookies with the special treatment. They have molded every single one of their Rookies into great players. Even though they may not have some of those rookies, they are doing great things with all of their players. This year, they chose Jantel Lavender as the #5 overall pick in the WNBA Draft. They also received Elina Babkina. In college, Jantel averaged a double double with 22.8 ppg, and 10.9 rpg. Those stats are great and I know she will bring those to the table in the WNBA. Elina is Latvian. She played in Poland in the Euroleague. She has played with different teams but Poland Lotos Gdynia was her most recent team. She’s averaged 12.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, and 3.5 apg. Personally, I am a Big Ohio State fan and a Los Angeles Sparks fan so when she went to LA I was super excited! She’s was a great Buckeye. She was never afraid to shoot if she was open or take you down low if she got the ball. She was a hustle player. A lot of her fouls were hustle fouls, and that’s what I like to count on. If there’s a lose ball, she’s on the floor battling for it. Sometimes with her own teammates. SHe was a great player in College so I know she will be that way in the WNBA. I’ve never watched Elina Babkina play but from her stats, she looks like she led her team to victory. In almost every game, she was in double digits. You may think that that’s not a big thing but that’s at least an extra 10 points added to your teams overall score. She shoots 83.9% FT and we all know that Free Throws win games.
#4 Coaching Staff Head coach of LAS is Jennifer Gillom. Indeed, she was a star in the WNBA. She played with the Mercury for most of her years but she played her last year in LA. Her first coaching job was in 2006 for the Xavier College Preparatory high school basketball team in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2008,she was the Assistant Coach for the Minnesota Lynx. In 2009, she was named head coach. In 2009, she was elected into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She is also the was the assistant head coach of the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team. So needless to say, she experience on and off the court. She may be new to LA but I’m sure she will bring everything that she can do this organization. She plans to have a fast paced offense. She’s a coach that wants to run the floor and be a fast breaking team. By the trades she has made and the players that she has selected, I do believe that this task will be managed. Sandy Brondello is the Assistant Coach of this years LAS team. She was a member of the Australian Opals team, and a great player at that. She is the Australian Opals all-time best shooting guards. She started her basketball career playing with the Detroit Shock. In the late 1999 she was selected by the Indiana Fever in the expansion draft. Although she was selected by them, she was soon traded to the Miami Sol. She was then signed from Free Agency to the Seattle Storm. As you can tell, she has had court experience but she also was the Assistant Coach of the 2005 San Antonio Silver Stars team. In February 2010, she was promoted to Head Coach. During her head coaching season, the SASS finished 14-20 which was the 3rd best in the Western Conference. Everyone and their brother knows who Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant is. He was a great player himself in the NBA. He’s played for the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers and the Houston Rockets. Not only was he a NBA star, he played overseas in Italia. As far as coaching, he was a head coach of a women’s varsity team in Lower Merion, PA. He was the LAS Assistant Coach in 2005. In 2006, he led the Sparks to a 25-9 record and to the Conference Finals. After he was succeeded by Michael Cooper, he took his coaching skills to Tokyo. Coach Bryant is a coach, similar to Coach Gillom, that likes to run his team. Much like Kobe Bryant’s style of play, Joe Bryant wants his team to attack the basket. With all 3 of these coaches together, and with the goal that Coach Gillom plays with, this Coaching Staff will surely turn this team into an offensive team as well as showing they are mighty on the defensive end.
#5 Something to Prove. The LAS definitely have something to prove. They have lost a great player in Marie Ferdinand Harris. She was a great backing feature in this team. They also lost Andrea Riley who was a great guard! Without those 2 players, this team will not be the same. Honestly, when any team loses a player, they have a chip on their shoulder that says, “I will be better”. LAS is no different. They will be a force to be messing with this season. Other than those losses, they have done nothing but gain. With all those gains out weighing the losses, they will be a Championship team.
LAS has always been and will always be a great team. They may not have the best record, but they have the biggest heart. The Sparks have created and made legends and stars. Anyone is lucky to be drafted or traded to this team. LAS is a legend team that has set different records and raised the bar for every other team. These 5 reasons that have been previously stated will be some of the biggest factors in this teams playoff run. LAS for EVER!