Lisa Leslie is a basketball legend who needs no introduction.
The three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist is one of the most recognized people in basketball, one who just won both the BIG3 championship and BIG3 Coach of the Year as the head coach for the championship winning Triplets squad.
— BIG3 on CBS (@thebig3) September 5, 2019
Now the two-time WNBA champion and class of 2015 Basketball Hall of Famer is receiving a new honor- a statue.
According to Arash Markazi of the LA Times, who first floated the idea to Sparks’ management, the wave behind Leslie receiving a statue took off and it now appears that the necessary support for a statue in her honor has arrived, which means that a new face could be seen in front of the Staples Center soon.
“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.” said Eric Holoman, the Sparks Managing Partner.
They will be working with AEG, which owns and operates the Staples Center, and they appear to be receptive to the idea as well.
“We look forward to sitting down with Sparks ownership to negotiate a new lease for the 2020 WNBA season and beyond,” said Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and LA Live. “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.”
Leslie was not just a WNBA star. She is one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of California. At Inglewood Morningside High, she once scored 101 points in a half. When she arrived at USC, she would, per the LA Times, become “the first player to receive first-team all-conference honors all fours years.” So she was dominant before she even stepped onto the court for the Sparks in 1997, where she proceeded to dominate and eventually retire as the league’s All-Time leader in points (6,253) and rebounds (3,306) at the time.
Oh, she also was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game too. Another first for her lengthy resume.
And with a resume like that, she’s more than deserving of a statue in a place that she calls home.