Liz Cambage drops sad announcement amid WNBA controversy

·4-min read
Pictured left, Aussie basketball star Liz Cambage posing for a photo and during a WNBA game on the right.
Aussie star Liz Cambage has announced on social media that she is taking a break from basketball. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Australian basketball superstar Liz Cambage has taken to social media to announce she is taking a break from the sport, in the wake of her exit from WNBA franchise, the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks last month confirmed that they had agreed to a 'contract divorce' with the 30-year-old Cambage after the Aussie star played just 25 games for the team.

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

"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 playoff berth."

Reports have surfaced that indicate Cambage was on the nose with her Los Angeles teammates long before her exit was finalised.

According to Kristina Williams of 'Girls Talk Sports TV', Cambage had 'chemistry issues' with her teammates as early as late May.

Seen here, Liz Cambage warms up before a game with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Liz Cambage warms up before a game with the Los Angeles Sparks. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

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

She added: "I would like to clarify that this tweet isn’t directly related to the reason why Liz Cambage and the Sparks parted ways.

"It was reported to give an overall account of some of the things the franchise has faced as of late (incl. her departure)."

Cambage is also understood to have ruffled feathers after demanding to play in the No. 1 jersey that belonged to Sparks teammate Amanda Zahui B.

Liz Cambage to take break from WNBA

Addressing her messy split from Los Angeles for the first time, Cambage said on Instagram that she will step away from the game "for the time being".

"Playing for the Sparks was a dream come true and I’m honoured to have shared the court with such amazing ladies for as long as we did," her post read.

"I'm sorry to have left abruptly and I wish it would have ended on a different note.

"I’ve decided to step away from the league for the time being and I’m hopeful that the WNBA will do their part in creating safer environments and a stronger support system for their players.

"While I'll miss rocking the purple and gold, I'll be taking this time to focus on my healing and personal growth before providing clarification on past rumours.

"Thank you to all my supporters, family and friends for all the love and light you continue to surround me with."

The Sparks were in the hunt for a playoff spot when Cambage left the team on July 26.

Seen here, Los Angeles Sparks star Liz Cambage holds the ball during a WNBA game.
The Los Angeles Sparks missed out on the WNBA playoffs after Liz Cambage's exit. Pic: Getty

"I can't do this anymore. Best of luck to you guys," she reportedly told her teammates when she left the locker room.

The team lost eight of their final nine games and finished out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Cambage, who will be 31 on Thursday, has not played for the Opals since withdrawing from the Australian team citing mental health concerns ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

That came after being embroiled in claims of racism.

Cambage was accused of telling her Nigerian opponents to "go back to your third world country" and calling them "monkeys". She denied the allegation.

Cambage averaged 13 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Sparks in 25 games this season after signing as a free agent in the off-season.

"Playing for the Sparks was a dream come true and I'm honoured to have shared the court with such amazing ladies for as long as we did," Cambage said.

"I'm sorry to have left abruptly and I wish it would have ended on a different note.... I'm hopeful that the WNBA will do their part in creating safer environments and a stronger support system for their players."

Cambage was drafted by the Tulsa franchise in 2011 with the No. 2 pick.

She has been vocal about her mental health for a long time, sitting out six years before coming back and asking to be traded from Tulsa, which by then had moved to Dallas. Cambage played in Las Vegas for two seasons before becoming a free agent and choosing Los Angeles.

with AAP

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