Liz Cambage will 'step away' from WNBA following Sparks exit to focus on 'healing and personal growth'

Liz Cambage announced on Monday that she's decided to "step away" from the WNBA following her midseason "contract divorce" with the Los Angeles Sparks.

In a post on Instagram, Cambage said she plans to focus on "healing and personal growth" while she's away and will not be addressing "past rumors" at this time.

It's those "past rumors" that likely led Cambage to where she is right now. She was the Sparks' major free agent signing this offseason, but her time with L.A. was a disaster from start to finish. She put up some weak numbers (the lowest since her rookie season in 2011), and that, combined with her behavior, is likely why she and the Sparks parted ways.

Cambage's reported behavior sparked conflict

Cambage reportedly called out teammates during film sessions for not feeding her the ball enough — not acknowledging that her performance issues were playing a part in that. She reportedly complained often during practice, and the Sparks choosing to give Cambage No. 1 and take it away from Amanda Zahui B. didn't make her any friends in the locker room.

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In late May, the Daily Telegraph reported that Cambage, an Australian citizen who had planned to play for the Australian national team, called players on the Nigerian team "monkeys" in the lead-up to the Olympics in 2021. (Cambage later withdrew from the Australian team citing mental health issues.) It's not known how the Sparks locker room responded to that report, but considering Sparks players and sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike have Nigerian heritage and have been fighting to play for the Nigerian national team, it's hard to imagine anyone took it well.

It's certainly possible that Cambage could return to the WNBA someday, but for now that seems unlikely. On her end, she has deejaying and modeling careers she could focus on. On the WNBA's end, Cambage's reported behavior and her overall performance certainly didn't make her an attractive player to bring aboard so late in the season (or even at the beginning of one). At this point, we may have seen the last of Cambage in the WNBA.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 07: Liz Cambage #1 of the Los Angeles Sparks handles the ball in the first half against the Seattle Storm at Arena on July 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Liz Cambage announced that she's stepping away from the WNBA following her midseason exit from the Sparks. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)