Basketball world in shock over bombshell news about Liz Cambage

Liz Cambage, pictured here in action for the Los Angeles Sparks.
Liz Cambage has parted ways with the Los Angeles Sparks. Image: Getty

Liz Cambage has shocked the basketball world after splitting with the Los Angeles Sparks after just 25 games with the WNBA team.

The team announced on Tuesday that they've agreed to a 'contract divorce' with the 30-year-old Aussie star.

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"It is with support that we share Liz Cambage's decision to terminate her contract with the organisation," Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said.

"We want what's best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably. The Sparks remain excited about our core group and are focused on our run towards a 2022 play-off berth."

There is now huge uncertainty surrounding the future of the four-time All-Star centre.

The bombshell news comes just five months after Cambage said “it was LA or out for me. There was nowhere else I wanted to be," after signing with the Sparks following two years with the Las Vegas Aces.

She averaged 13 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season.

According to Kristina Williams of 'Girls Talk Sports TV', 'chemistry issues' reportedly arose between Cambage and the Sparks as early as late May.

Liz Cambage, pictured here in action for the Los Angeles Sparks against the Washington Mystics.
Liz Cambage in action for the Los Angeles Sparks against the Washington Mystics. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

Williams reported on Tuesday that Cambage 'quit' and had "made verbal comments about her intentions to leave the Sparks to multiple people within the organisation."

Cambage had long talked about wanting to play in Los Angeles, but things reportedly turned sour quickly.

Fans were quick to point out the body language of Cambage's teammates in a video that did the rounds on social media earlier in July.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Sparks' interim head coach Fred Williams had said Cambage struggled with conditioning and facing double-and triple-team matchups.

The Aussie recently missed games after a bout with Covid-19 and was listed as out for "return to competition conditioning."

The Sparks fired head coach Derek Fisher in June, after Cambage was his big free agency signing of 2022 after the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Liz Cambage, pictured here at the 2022 ESPY Awards in Hollywood, California.
Liz Cambage at the 2022 ESPY Awards in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Liz Cambage's tumultuous time

The split follows a turbulent period for the 30-year-old, who quit playing for the Opals after withdrawing from the Australian team citing mental health concerns ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after being embroiled in claims of racism.

It was claimed she told Nigerian players to "go back to your third world country" during a pre-Olympics warm-up match and called them 'monkeys'.

Cambage said via social media that she was "disappointed and hurt", rejecting the report of the incident as "inaccurate and misleading".

"I did not use the racial slur towards the Nigerian team that has been circulating," she posted on Instagram.

Cambage was independently investigated and issued a formal reprimand - but not suspended or fined - after the altercation.

The report also alleged that before the match, Cambage (whose father is Nigerian) had told a Nigeria player she wished she was playing for them because her Australian teammates were racists.

Cambage has career averages of 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 167 games (137 starts) with the Tulsa Shock (2011, 2013), Dallas Wings (2018), Aces (2019, 2021) and Sparks.

The Australian star set the WNBA single-game scoring record with 53 points against the New York Liberty in a game in 2018.

with Yahoo Sports and AAP

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