Outside of Staples Center, there are statues of some of the most iconic names in not just Los Angeles sports, but sports in general, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Elgin Baylor and Wayne Gretzky. Even legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn has a statue outside of Staples.
The one thing the historic Star Plaza doesn’t feature is a female athlete, but that could change soon.
According to Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Sparks and AEG are in talks over immortalizing three-time WNBA MVP and eight-time All-Star Lisa Leslie with a statue outside of Staples Center:
The timing of the statue’s unveiling is uncertain, but this much is known: With AEG and Sparks officials scheduled to meet later this week, Star Plaza will be getting a new statue in the near future and, for the first time, the Sparks will take a permanent place outside of Staples Center along with the Lakers and Kings.
If AEG moves forward with their plans for the statue — and it seems like they will — Leslie will become the first female athlete with a statute in Star Plaza and the first WNBA player with a statue outside of their home arena. While there might be WNBA players that are equally deserving, Leslie is a great place to start.
Over the course of her 12-year career, Leslie averaged 17.3 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field, including 31.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. Leslie also averaged 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for her career. She ended her career ranked No. 1 in all-time defensive rebounds and (2425) and defensive rating (88.4).
It’s been a long time coming, but it sounds like Leslie will finally be getting her statue, and it’s well-deserved. Next up, Candace Parker.