Sports

With Magic as boss, Candace Parker and LA Sparks open season

China’s center Dong Yu (13) and Los Angeles Sparks center Candace Parker (3) battle for a loose ball during the first half of an exhibition women's basketball game, Saturday, May 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

China‚Äôs center Dong Yu (13) and Los Angeles Sparks center Candace Parker (3) battle for a loose ball during the first half of an exhibition women's basketball game, Saturday, May 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)  (The Associated Press)

There's a new boss of the Los Angeles Sparks, and he answers to Magic.

Former Lakers great Magic Johnson stepped in to buy the franchise earlier this year, ensuring a future for the WNBA in the nation's second-largest market. By rescuing the team after its previous owners decided to end their involvement, Johnson gave Candace Parker a chance to chase the only major title to elude the reigning league MVP in her career.

She has won two Olympic gold medals, two NCAA championships at Tennessee and a title with her Russian pro team during the offseason. The Sparks last won the WNBA championship in 2002.

Last season, the Sparks were 24-10 and lost to Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals under coach Carol Ross.