Highlighting some of the most exciting moments in Los Angeles Sparks history!

June 21, 1997: The Los Angeles Sparks and the New York Liberty tip-off the first WNBA game at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles in front of a crowd of 14,284. Sparks Guard Penny Toler scores the league’s first basket at 19:01.

June 19, 1999: Sparks center Lisa Leslie sets a WNBA record by pulling down 21 rebounds in the Sparks victory over the New York Liberty.

June 21, 1998: Sparks Center Lisa Leslie notches her seventh straight double-double, setting a WNBA record.

August 30, 1999: The Sparks complete a season of firsts, finishing with its first winning record and a franchise-best 20 wins. Los Angeles also wins its first playoff series, knocking off the Sacramento Monarchs before falling to the eventual WNBA Champion Houston Comets in the Western Conference Finals.

August 27, 2001: Lisa Leslie becomes the first WNBA player to capture all three MVP awards (regular season, postseason and All-Star) in the same season, joining NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan and Willis Reed as the only professional basketball players to accomplish this feat.

September 1, 2001: Sparks claim their first WNBA Championship to give the city a sweep of professional basketball titles, sweeping the Eastern Conference Champion Charlotte Sting in the WNBA Finals.

August 29, 2002: Sparks rookie guard Nikki Teasley nails the game-winning shot in the waning seconds of Game 2 of the WNBA Finals to help the Sparks become the second team in WNBA history to repeat as champions, defeating the New York Liberty. Los Angeles runs through the postseason with a perfect 6-0 record as the first of just three teams to do so in league history (Seattle ’10, Minnesota ’13) and finish its back-to-back championship run with a 12-1 playoff record. 

July 30, 2003: Lisa Leslie becomes the first WNBA player to dunk in a game when she throws down a one-handed breakaway slam with 4:44 remaining in the first half of Los Angeles’ 82-73 loss to the Miami Sol at STAPLES Center.

May 17, 2008:  Rookie Candace Parker has a near triple-double in her WNBA debut at Phoenix with 34 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

June 22-24, 2008: Candace Parker records the league’s second and third dunk in history and first in back-to-back games. The second coming in the finals seconds versus the Indiana Fever and third versus the Seattle Storm.

August 23, 2008: The United States wins gold as Lisa Leslie captures her fourth gold medal in a row and improves her Olympic record to 32-0. Milton-Jones gets her second gold and Parker gets her first.

October 3, 2008: Candace Parker becomes the first player in WNBA history to be named Rookie of the Year and WNBA MVP in the same year.

August 4, 2010: Ticha Penicheiro sets a franchise record of 15 assists in a game against Chicago.

October 8, 2012 Head coach Carol Ross, Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver earn prestigious league awards. Ross is named the WNBA’s Coach of the Year for returning the Sparks to the playoffs and orchestrating the second-largest turnaround (nine games) in franchise history, Ogwumike earns the coveted honor as the WNBA Rookie of the Year and Toliver is named the league’s Most Improved Player. Additionally, Candace Parker is named First Team All-WNBA, while Toliver makes the Second Team.

September 19, 2013: Candace Parker is named WNBA MVP, becoming just the fifth player in league history to earn the award multiple times.

July 4, 2015: Guard Kristi Toliver sets franchise-record for most points (43) scored in a game, passing Sparks legend Lisa Leslie’s 41 points.

September 27, 2016: Nneka Ogwumike named 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player. She was the third winner for the Sparks joining Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie. Ogwumike was named Western Conference Player of the Week six times and Western Conference Player of the Month twice in the season.

September 28, 2016: Jantel Lavender named 2016 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. Alana Beard and Nneka Ogwumike named to 2016 WNBA All-Defensive Team. Ogwumike also named to 2016 All-WNBA Team.

October 20, 2016: Los Angeles defeated Minnesota 77-76 in the WNBA Finals off a buzzer beater from Nneka Ogwumike. Los Angeles earned the franchise’s third championship and Candace Parker is named 2016 WNBA Playoffs Most Valuable Player.

September 12, 2017: Alana Beard wins Defensive Player of the Year for the first time. She will go on to win back-to-back DPOY titles in the 2017 & 2018 season.

January 14, 2020: The WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, led by WNBPA President and Sparks Forward Nneka Ogwumike reached a new 8-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) starting 2020 season. The new CBA includes an increase in salary, cash compensation, enhanced travel accommodations and new resources for childcare and maternity benefits.