Free agent finds way to L.A.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Five-time All-Star Teresa Weatherspoon signed with the Los Angeles Sparks on Feb. 4.

The point guard, an unrestricted free agent, was an original member of the New York Liberty when the WNBA began in 1997, and spent her entire career with the team.

Weatherspoon told USA Today she thought Los Angeles was the best place to help her finally win a WNBA title.

"I don't know how good (free agency) is for the league," Weatherspoon said in USA Today, "but I know how good it is for me."

Weatherspoon won consecutive defensive player of the year honors in 1997-98. She was the first player in WNBA history to record 1,000 assists.

"We've just acquired another great veteran to add to the core of experience we already have,'' Sparks coach Michael Cooper said. "Teresa brings versatility to our back court and a strong defensive presence to our team.''

Terms of the deal were not announced, but like Gary Payton and Karl Malone, who signed with the L.A. Lakers for less money than they would have received elsewhere, Weatherspoon likely took a pay cut to join the two-time champion Sparks.