Andrew Bogut's brutal act after Liz Cambage's mental health 'excuse'

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Pictured here, Aussie basketball icons Liz Cambage and Andrew Bogut.
Andrew Bogut appeared to question Liz Cambage's explanation about her withdrawal from the Olympics. Pic: Getty

NBA legend Andrew Bogut has threatened to stoke his long-running feud with Australian women's basketball star Liz Cambage after a brutal response to her withdrawal from the Olympic Games.

Cambage confirmed the bombshell news on Friday that she was pulling out of the Opals' campaign in Tokyo, citing mental health reasons and anxiety around being isolated in an Olympics bubble.

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However, the Opals star's withdrawal comes amid a Basketball Australia investigation into her behaviour.

According to ESPN basketball reporter Olgun Oluc, Cambage was involved in a "physical altercation" and a "verbal exchange" with rival players during the practice game earlier this week.

There were also reports she broke team protocol by going out with friends in Las Vegas.

As a result, her Opals teammates reportedly started 'discussions' about her 'potential removal' from the Olympic team.

Cambage took to social media to explain her reasons for pulling out of the Olympic Games, revealing that she had suffered recent panic attacks and had trouble sleeping due to concerns about the Games - which get underway in less than one week.

"Every athlete competing at the Olympic Games should be at their mental and physical peak, and at the moment, I'm a long way from where I need and want to be," Cambage wrote.

"It's no secret that in the past I've struggled with my mental health and recently I've been really worried about heading into a 'bubble' Olympics.

"No family. No friends. No fans. No support outside of my team. It's honestly terrifying for me.

"The past month I have been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating.

"I know myself, and I know I can't be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals. Not right now at least.

"It breaks my heart to announce I'm withdrawing from the Olympics, but I think it's best for the Opals and myself."  

Liz Camage is pictured here with fellow Aussie teammates.
Liz Camage announced on Friday that she was withdrawing from Australia's Tokyo Olympics campaign. Pic: Getty

Bogut - who has regularly engaged in social media feuds with Cambage in the past - apparently wasn't buying the Aussie star's explanation.

The former NBA champion responded to a tweet that appeared to question the validity of Cambage's claims, considering the reports about her bad behaviour.

On Friday evening, former South East Melbourne Phoenix assistant coach Ian Stacker tweeted: “Mental health is a significant issue for our community. Every time a sports star or celebrity uses ‘mental health’ as an excuse for deplorable behaviour totally frustrates those dealing with real issues.”

Bogut retweeted the post with the caption: “Amen.”

The Aussie basketball legend then retweeted another social media user's post that suggested the Opals would be better off without Cambage and her "embarrassing behaviour".

Seen here, a post about Liz Cambage that Andrew Bogut retweeted.
Andrew Bogut retweeted a post taking aim at Liz Cambage's 'bad behaviour'. Pic: Twitter

Cambage's absence wasn't enough to stop the Aussies laying down a warning to their Olympic rivals with a thrilling three-point win against heavyweights, the USA.

The Opals handed the American women their second straight loss in pre-Olympic exhibitions on Friday, getting 17 points from Ezi Magbegor to win 70-67.

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USA, who got together as a team for the first time earlier this week, were beaten by a team of WNBA All-Stars on Wednesday night.

Even without Cambage, the Australians put forth a stellar effort. The Opals were down 13 at the half before rallying against the No. 1 team in the world that has a 49-game winning streak in the Olympics.

Breanna Stewart's three-point play tied the game at 66 with 2:59 left before Magbegor hit a layup and Marianna Tolo made a reverse layup with 2 minutes remaining to give Australia a 70-66 advantage.

The Americans missed seven straight shots before Brittney Griner was fouled with 17 seconds left. She made one of two free throws.

After a timeout, the USA committed four consecutive fouls to try and get Australia to the foul line. 

After the fourth foul, the Opals turned the ball over with 10.9 seconds left, but Stewart's three-pointer before the buzzer was off the mark. 

She scored 17 points to lead the USA, which finished 2 of 18 from 3-point range.

The loss comes on the heels of the American men's team dropping exhibitions against Nigeria and Australia this week.

with agencies

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