Spartak releases Lauren Jackson, star will suit up for Canberra
Lauren Jackson is close to signing a deal to play with the Canberra Capitals for the rest of the WNBL season. Just last week, Capitals coach Carrie Graf and Jacksonâ€™s agent indicated that the WNBA star might stay in her native Australia if enough funds were raised by investors to pay her a salary of $220,000 AUD.
Until early November, Jackson had plans to spend the winter playing for Spartak Moscow under a lucrative contract. But when the clubâ€™s owner was assassinated on November 2, doubts about her return to Russia began to surface. She went to Australia to recover from back injuries after the end of the WNBA season.
â€œShe wants to be hereâ€”that’s her priority," said Graf Tuesday to ABC Sport. "She wants to stay home and wants to be in Canberra.â€
â€œIf we’ve got all the paperwork done tomorrow and can come up with the money, she’ll be a Canberra Capital.â€
Graf is also the head coach the Australian national team, the Opals.
Jackson is still recovering from stress fractures in her lower back and will not play until after the weekend.
Her first stint with the Capitals lasted six years. She joined the team in 1999 led them to four titles and earned MVP honors three times. Currently the team has a 6-4 record and is in fifth place.
Around the web:
- Jackson set to sign today (Canberra Times)
- Lauren back for $24,000 a game (Daily Telegraph)
- Jackson close to Capitals deal (ABC Sport)
- Canberra Capitals may move remaining home games if Lauren Jackson returns (Canberra Times)
- Will Lauren Jackson be Canberra’s highest paid athlete? (Basketball Australia)
- Lauren Jackson’s WNBL return imminent (ABC Sport)
- Lauren Jackson’s $666-a-minute deal (Canberra Times)
- Capital support could see Lauren Jackson back in Canberra (WNBL)
- Carrie Graf interview with ABC Grandstand Sport radio
- Carrie Graf interview with ABC Canberra
- Canberra Capitals