Sparks General Manager Penny Toler said the team has made an offer to Detroit Shock restricted free agent Kara Braxton and is considering going after a pair of unrestricted free agents — Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson.
Toler also said her reaction on hearing the Parker news was simple.
“Wow, just wow,” Toler said. “That’s kind of my reaction to so many of Candace’s plays. Wow.”
Now it’s up to Toler to figure out how to make Sparks fans say “Wow” until the wow woman herself comes back to play.
From the “Beyond the Arc” Sparks newsletter sent to season ticket holders today, an interview with General Manager Penny Toler:
LASparks.com: What’s in the works for the Sparks?
PT: We’re doing what everybody else is doing. Going after the free agents and hoping that we can land the best of them. You have Tina Thompson, Lauren Jackson and Michelle Snow out there – that’s just to name a few. There are a lot of players out there. There are also a lot of restricted free agents out there and we will be putting offer sheets down on some of them. So we’re doing what everyone else is doing.
LASparks.com: What does it mean for the Sparks that Candace is pregnant?
PT: First things first, we’ll wait for her. She’ll be back, she wants to get back and she’s anxious to get back. At the end of the day as the GM, this is why you prepare the team from top to bottom. Candace is pregnant; it isn’t the end of the world. What about teams that have players out for torn ACLs or back and foot injuries? A pregnancy is nothing compared to some of that stuff and we’re extremely happy for her. I always try to prepare the team from top to bottom because every year someone could be out and at the beginning of this year, it will be Candace.
LASparks.com: How exciting is it knowing that there are tons of great players in the free agency game right now?
PT: It’s really exciting because the league has gotten tougher and you need a lot of good players to win a championship and we want to be in the running every year. Whether it’s Tina, Lauren, Michelle or whoever else is available – we’re going to continue to go after them. My job is to make this team stronger and it’s not just a matter of preparing the team for 2009 but for 2010, 2011 and beyond.
LASparks.com: What expectations do you have for 2009?
PT: Our expectation is to win a championship. What is our nickname out here in L.A.? The City of Champions. Our goal is always to win a championship and there is not a team in L.A. that would tell you that they don’t set out every season to win a championship.
LASparks.com: What are you most looking forward to in 2009?
PT: I’m definitely looking to get out of the Western Conference Finals. I thought we had a great run last year but at the end of the day we don’t have a title. So once again I’m looking forward to putting the best players out there and I think it helps that our players have already been together for a season. There won’t be many changes here, there will be some but going forward, we’re looking to win a championship.
LASparks.com: Going into your 10th season as GM, what have you learned that has made you so successful?
PT: I would say just being in the LA environment. You do your best; in LA you always have to work to be the best and I strive to be the best I can be. Every year I prepare the team win and LA is never in a rebuilding year. We don’t rebuild, we compete for titles. Going into my 10th year, my goal is the same as it was in my first: we’ve got to win a title and that’s every year.
Since the news was made official yesterday, the Sparks are really blitzing us with communications.