Sparks fire GM Penny Toler after postgame tirade

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Sparks have fired general manager Penny Toler after her postgame tirade when the team lost Game 2 in the second round of the WNBA playoffs.

The team announced Friday that Toler was dismissed. She had also served as executive vice president. Eric Holoman, the team’s managing partner and governor, will replace her on an interim basis while a national GM search is conducted.

The Sparks finished atop the Western Conference with a 22-12 regular-season record. But they were swept in three games by the Connecticut Sun in the postseason.

ESPN reported Thursday that Toler entered the Sparks’ locker room after the loss on Sept. 19 and launched into an obscenity-laced speech that included racial slurs. Toler acknowledged using the slurs but told ESPN they weren’t directed at any of the players.

Holoman thanked Toler for her tenure with the team that included 20 years as GM. The Sparks won the WNBA championship in 2001, ’02 and ’06.

Toler played for the Sparks from 1997 to 1999 and scored the first basket in WNBA history.

Holoman called Toler “a foundational figure” in the growth of the league and wished her the best in the future.

FILE – In this Dec. 7, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler poses during a WNBA basketball news conference in Los Angeles. Toler was fired by the Sparks on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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