Many employees of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks received an unpleasant send-off to 2013 on New Year’s Eve.
All personnel from the Sparks’ front office received an email Tuesday informing them they had been laid off and that the WNBA was rescinding the team’s membership in the league, The Los Angeles Times reports. It was unclear if other team employees, such as coaches and players, still were to be paid, WNBA president Laurel Richie told the Times.
The WNBA has taken control of the Sparks while trying to find new ownership for the franchise, according to the report. The NBA made a similar move in 2010, when it purchased the New Orleans Hornets from George Shinn. The Hornets eventually were sold to Saints owner Tom Benson and renamed the Pelicans.
“As we discussed, we received notification that the WNBA LLC is terminating the Los Angeles Sparks membership and interest in the WNBA,” Sparks president Vincent Malcolm wrote in the email, a copy of which was obtained by the Times. “As a result, Gemini Basketball LLC is closing its doors and no longer will be in business. Accordingly, we regret to inform you that effective Dec. 31, 2013, you no longer will be employed by the Los Angeles Sparks.”
The WNBA is the butt of a lot of jokes, but there is nothing humorous about people losing their jobs. Here’s hoping those people — as well as the Sparks — get back on their feet quickly.
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