Liz Cambage and Los Angeles Sparks agree to divorce

Four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage and the Los Angeles Sparks are parting ways, and it’s another rocky finale for the star center, who just three months ago confidently declared the team was “where I want to be.”

On Tuesday, Sparks announced that they and Cambage, 30, had agreed to get married. “contract divorce” just five months after the team added her to their roster. The 6-foot-8 Australian has averaged 13 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 25 games this season; she still holds the WNBA record for single-game scoring with 53 points.

“It was a surprise – I didn’t know what actually escalated the situation” – Fred Williams, acting team coach, This was stated in the press service on Tuesday.. “A lot of this could have happened off the court, off the floor, who knows. After talking with her after that, I just felt that it was good for her personally to take this step. All we can do as an organization is support this and its decisions and just move on.”

For the team, he says, “it’s a new day, a new atmosphere for us in this room.”

In a statement announcing the move, Eric Holoman, managing partner of Sparks, said: “We want the best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably.” A spokesperson for Cambage did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cambage’s departure is her third break from the WNBA team in five years. She also said that she has “zero” interest in the game again for her home country. Kembege was accused of using racist slurs against opponents while playing for Australia ahead of the Tokyo Olympics; she denied the allegations.

Growing up outside of Melbourne, Australia, Cambage was selected second overall by the WNBA Tulsa Shock in 2011 as a cornerstone of the then-franchise. She took a four-season hiatus from the league before returning to the team, which moved to Dallas and was renamed the Wings. Cambege joined the Las Vegas Aces in 2019, but only after demanding a one-year, multi-year deal from Dallas.

Although Cambage missed the 2020 season due to Covid-19 related health issues, she and the Aces reached the WNBA semi-finals in 2019 and 2021. She left the team as an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season, but did so as a farewell. in criticism of the WNBA pay structure when the Aces signed Becky Hammon as head coach for $1 million.

Cambage has been targeting the Sparks for a long time. She joined the team as one of the league’s most visible — and at times controversial — personalities, heading to Los Angeles with a large social media following and stylish style. Cambage also spoke publicly about her. the difficult path of mental health and treatment for depression, which she says contributed to her rocky start with Shock.

Cambage signs with talent agency IMG, models sportswear for Adidas and is a brand ambassador for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie line. She is also a DJ and is signed to Wasserman Music.

“I lived someone else’s dream, chased it for a minute” she told The New York Times in May. “But now I realize that it has always been my dream to be here in Los Angeles and play here.”

The Sparks, who missed the WNBA playoffs last year for the first time since 2011, added Kembej to the frontcourt, which included Nneka Ogwumike and her sister Chyni, both former No. 1 rackets. 1 overall pick in hopes of advancing to the championship challenge. Team (12-15) in sixth place in the league.

Cambage, who said she had recently recovered from a third bout of Covid-19, experienced the second highest scoring season of her WNBA career. She was part of a rebuild of the Sparks under Derek Fisher, a former NBA player who was promoted to general manager. But in June, the Sparks fired Fischer and replaced him with Williams, who also coached Cambage in Dallas.

“I have to respect what she wants,” Williams said. “You have to listen, because it might be something else, it might be something unrelated to basketball.”

Williams said he hoped Cambage would have another opportunity to play.

“I think she now has a place to check her temperature,” he said.