Media Day Recap: Sparks have a point to prove

The Los Angeles Sparks are living up to their newest motto, “Time to Show.”

“It’s time for us to show than talk and tell,” Sparks Head Coach and General Manager Derek Fisher, who is heading into his fourth season at the helm of the team, expressed that though the optimal goal for them is to win a championship, the team’s expectations for this season are to establish a level of excellence and standard on how they compete every night.

After completely missing the postseason in 2021, the Sparks hope to return to some glory that includes a healthy squad throughout the season and putting out a cohesive product on the floor with this group every night.

On Wednesday, the Sparks held their annual media day at their new practice home for the summer at Jump Beyond Sports. This latest iteration of the team made it abundantly clear that this is a group with a chip on their shoulder that is ready to send a message.

Everyone that Fisher has brought into the fold during this past offseason along with the core players have shared the same sentiments of redemption and want to prove the doubters wrong about what is in store for them this season.

“I think this year is to show and prove that this organization is still a championship organization and contender,” Jordin Canada, two-time WNBA champion and Los Angeles native, noted that as people have already counted the Sparks out of conversations, they have been keeping things competitive in camp and showing up for one another.

There have been various versions of the Sparks that have led them to success in the postseason and others that have fallen short. This version of the team has an edge to them that is resonating and becoming part of their identity as an overall organization.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes that the Sparks have experienced and we’ve experienced a lot of growing pains,” Nneka Ogwumike said, “but in a way that I’ve seen the organization just really setting the tone.”

The Los Angeles Sparks are coming into this season sharing how they have felt a different energy with the influx of new additions on the team from four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage to WNBA champions in Canada and Lexie Brown to a reinvigorated Chennedy Carter along with a group of rookies who have all been meshing with the core of the team led by 11-year veteran and champion in Ogwumike.

“We’re excited to have a lot of people available to compete,” Chiney Ogwumike said that they are taking things day by day but are excited about what they will bring this season.

Cambage expressed her excitement about finally being in Los Angeles after manifesting this moment even before she was drafted to the league back in 2011. Being surrounded by people like Chiney Ogwumike and Fred Williams, Cambage’s former head coach in Dallas and assistant coach on the Sparks, who hold a place in her heart.

Carter had had an up and down experience in the league at her previous stop in Atlanta which resulted in an indefinite suspension in 2021 after playing just 11 games for the Dream. Carter said that she is in a much better head space and ready to show a different side of her game that people have not seen yet.

With all of the new additions and collective eagerness to succeed this season, the Sparks have their expectations at an all-time high. On paper, this team has the tools to be a serious contender but it will be up to how the players show up for themselves, bring their best selves, and stay healthy for a full season.

All-Defensive team member Brittney Sykes said that in every year that she’s been with the Sparks, the team has progressed in some way. Could this be the pinnacle of that? We may have that answer from Sykes, “I think as a collective, I think this could be something very, very crazy in a great way.”

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