Liz Cambage’s basketball career is in limbo after the polarising Australian star agreed a “contract divorce” with her WNBA team Los Angeles Sparks as they fight to secure a playoff spot.
“It is with support that we share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organisation,” Sparks 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.”
Cambage, who has also played in China, is yet to announce her future plans.
It continues 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 controversy.
Cambage was accused by players of telling her Nigerian opponents to “go back to your third world country”. Cambage, whose father is Nigerian, denied the slur.
Cambage had publicly declared in May that playing in LA was her “dream” but only lasted 25 games, averaging 13 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Sparks interim coach Fred Williams, who coached Cambage at the Dallas Wings in 2018, said he was surprised by the timing and that personal reasons contributed to her departure.
Cambage has also recently overcome a third bout of Covid-19 which saw her miss two games.
“That’s a Liz situation of her own – I think she thought about a few things which are personal and we respect that,” Williams told reporters.
“She chose to make a decision right now and we have to respect that and pretty much move on.
“It was a surprise, I didn’t know what really escalated it – a lot of it could have been off-court … having conversations with her afterwards, just felt it was good for her personally to make that move.
“I think she gave it to the spot where she could give and some of things may be crossing her mind she needs to focus on other than basketball and we have to give her that respect.
“Liz had been down this road before.”
Williams said he hoped that Cambage would continue in the sport and the WNBA.
Standing 2.03m or 6ft 8in, Cambage set the WNBA single-game scoring record with 53 points against New York Liberty on July 17, 2018.
“I’m not in her brain right now but I hope she does have an opportunity to get back and play,” Williams added. “Only time will tell.”