Liz Campage’s time with the Los Angeles Sparks is over.
The team announced on Tuesday that they had done just that I agreed to a “divorce contract” With the 30-year-old center, only 25 games in her tenure at Sparks. The WNBA uses “contract divorce” for what is essentially a purchase.
“We share Lise Campage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organization with the support of Sparks,” said Eric Holloman, managing partner at Sparks. “We want the best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably. Sparks remains excited about our core group and is focused on our path toward the 2022 Annex berth.”
This comes just five months after Cambage said “It was LA or abroad for me. There was nowhere else I wanted to be”, after signing with Sparks two years later with Las Vegas Aces. She has averaged 13 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game this season.
Sparks (12-15) is sixth in the WNBA standings, but will have to fight to retain his playoff position over the last nine games. The Sparks and Wings (12-15), Dream (12-16) and Liberty (10-17) fall into two games each. The lynx (10-19) is also in the race.
Cambage is said to have “quit”, experienced with chemistry issues
“Chemistry issues” reportedly arose between Campag, a 6-foot-8 center, and Sparks as early as May, according to Kristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV. Williams stated that Cambage “quit” and made verbal comments about her intent to leave Sparks to several people within the organization.”
The timing is right because Sparks fired coach and general manager Derek Fisher on June 9.
Fisher’s time with the organization became somewhat turbulent after the team hired him in 2018 without looking for other candidates. Famous in the city for his embodiment of Candice Parker in a playoff game, both Parker and point guard Chelsea Gray quit the squad for free agency in 2021. Cambage was his big free agency to sign 2022 after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The admiration seemed mutual as Campag has long spoken of his desire to be in Los Angeles. But things soon soured, and a video posted by John W. Davis of the Long Beach Post-Telegram began to surface. Fans noticed the body language of her teammates sitting next to her.
Interim coach Fred Williams said Cambridge has struggled with conditioning and is facing two- and three-team clashes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She recently missed out on games after a game with COVID-19 and was listed as “Back to Competition Conditioning”.
Cambag’s statements in Nigeria caused waves
The reported feud dating back to May would also coincide with a video of Cambage calling Nigeria national team players racist insults last summer for the first time in public.
Cambridge left the Australian national team ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to mental health reasons. However, it emerged after her departure that Campig used racist insensitive remarks towards the Nigerian team’s players during a training season, and even physically assaulted a few players, according to Australian news outlets. Cambage denied these allegations.
The video and more detailed reports surfaced in late May, weeks after the start of the WNBA season. The video shows that she hits a player hard with her elbow. She allegedly contacted the Nigerian team with the “monkeys” and told them to “return to your third world country” during the incident in a private altercation. She denied the allegations in an Instagram post that has since been deleted. In it, she said that she was “physically assaulted” by a Nigerian player after an unintentional foul.
It has drawn attention because both Nneka Ogwumike, who has a deserved MVP season, and Chiney Ogwumike are Nigerian Americans. Their parents were born in Nigeria and the four daughters of Ogumaki hold dual citizenship. Neka, Shini and Erika Ogomec, who were recruited in 2020, have been included in Nigeria’s provisional Olympic squad despite Neka’s appeal to play. Coincidentally, Kambaj’s father is also of Nigerian descent, while Kambaj’s mother is from Australia.
Is Cambage’s career in the WNBA over?
The divorce contract may extend to the WNBA as a whole. She’s recording her worst points and recovery since she was a beginner and at times seemed uninterested in using her 100% height and physique advantage.
Campig, who was recruited in 2011 at the age of 19, returned to the WNBA in 2018 after a five-year hiatus as she played professionally in China and Australia. She set the WNBA record for most points scored in a game with 53 points against the New York Liberty when she played with the Dallas Wings in 2018.
Cambage traded with the Las Vegas Aces in 2019, playing two seasons until signing with Sparks in 2022. She was suspended for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.