Buss stepping down as Sparks president, sale possible

Updated: October 31, 2006, 10:39 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Sparks president Johnny Buss told the Los Angeles Times he is stepping down from the position and that there is a possibility the WNBA team will be sold.

"I have not officially offered a letter of resignation, but it is something I will have to do," Buss, the son of Lakers and Sparks owner Jerry Buss, told the Times, adding that team general manager Penny Toler is taking more control over the team's day-to-day operations.

The Sparks have done well under Johnny Buss' direction, winning WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002 and making the playoffs every year since.

Johnny Buss told the Times he cannot say definitively if the Sparks will be sold. But he did say that if a sale is to happen, it would best happen sooner than later.

"If we're going to [sell], we need to do it now. I would hate to get involved with player acquisitions and things like that, and disrupt the operation," he told the Times. "Hopefully a decision will be made by the end of the year. If something does not happen then, I doubt anything would happen until after next season."

Buss told the newspaper he had approached other family members about taking over the team presidency, including his sister Janie, but that none are interested at present.

"[Janie] wanted to take them over and I was OK with it. ... But because of her family commitments, she finally had to decline," he said.