Monday, August 22, 2005

The WNBA thug life: sixty grand a year, smaller balls, and a condo in Marina Del Rey.

The WNBA LA Sparks is owned by the same corporation that owns the Lakers.

In 2003, two players, one from each team, were accused of sexual assault. Both cases were eventually dropped. But the similarity ends there. Kobe Bryant was supported by the organization privately and publicly, and allowed to play throughout the investigation. Latasha Byears, the Sparks' power forward and Lisa Leslie's on-court bodyguard, was almost immediately dropped from the team.

Byears was a thug player and a poor sport, but her appearance on the Sparks roster marked the end of their sentence as the Western Conference also-rans and marked the beginning of what should have been a 3 or 4-year dynasty, at least.

LA Times Magazine:
In a wrongful termination suit filed last fall in L.A. Superior Court against Los Angeles Lakers Inc. and LAL Women's Basketball LLC, Byears points to the organization's treatment of Kobe Bryant as evidence of gender discrimination against her. She also alleges that her sexual orientation played a role in her release...

...Whether Byears will be invited back to play for the Sparks or another WNBA team is unknown.Only one thing is guaranteed: Latasha Byears is not about to retire quietly. She believes that she deserves to play again—even if it's just off-the-bench dirty work—with the best female basketball players in the world. "I want justice," she says. "I want to continue to play ball. It's what I do."

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