Sparks Expect to Reach New Deal With Rousseau


Spark interim Coach Julie Rousseau should have the “interim” erased from her title by the end of the week, club President Johnny Buss said Tuesday.

Buss, who met for three hours Monday with his father, Laker owner Jerry Buss--also said he will return as president--but on a one-year contract, not a three-year deal he’d sought.

Rousseau, 32, then the coach at Los Angeles’ Washington High, was hired last spring as the No. 2 assistant to Linda Sharp. She became interim coach when Sharp was fired July 16 after the team had begun the season 4-7.

“We’re a run-and-gun, high-fiving kind of team and Julie saw that, and we responded to that,” forward Heidi Burge said.


Said Johnny Buss: “Dad and I agree, we want Julie to be the head coach. We feel she earned the right to negotiate for that. I’ll talk to her this week about it.”

He wouldn’t say if Rousseau will be offered a multiyear deal.

The Sparks finished 14-14, missing the WNBA playoffs on the last day of the regular season.

Buss said recently he feared his father might dismiss him, when it seemed team losses might reach $500,000.

“I told my Dad I could have done some things better this year, and he agreed with me,” he said.

“But he also feels the team has an opportunity to make money next year, so he’s generally positive.”

Projected losses, Johnny Buss added, have been scaled back to between $250,000 and $350,000, which includes the cost of buying out Sharp’s contract.