Eric Holoman, the Sparks’ managing partner, revealed the plan to the Los Angeles Times.
“We believe Lisa deserves a statue and plan to make that part of the lease renewal discussion with AEG which should take place in the next week or two,” Holoman told the Los Angeles Times.
Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and LA Live, told the Los Angeles Times he looks forward to sitting down with Sparks ownership to negotiate a new lease for the 2020 WNBA season and beyond.
“In addition, we plan to discuss the timing and placement of a permanent statue at Staples Center honoring one of the great all-time WNBA players, Lisa Leslie,” Zeidman told the Los Angeles Times.
Leslie was drafted in the WNBA’s first draft in 1997 and played with the Sparks throughout her entire career until she retired in 2009.
She won three league MVPs, two championships, four Olympic gold medals and three All-Star Game MVPs.
Leslie was also named to eight All-Star teams and 12 All-WNBA teams, including eight first-team selections, according to Bleacher Report.
“Leslie isn’t just one of the greatest WNBA players of all time, she is one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Southern California,” Los Angeles Times writer Arash Markazi wrote.
Leslie’s statue will be the 11th outside of the Staples Center, but it will also be the first of a WNBA player outside of a team’s home arena.
Other statues outside of Staples Center feature Los Angeles legends such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Wayne Gretzky.