Will Liz Cambage realize the dream she voiced in 2011 to play for the Los Angeles Sparks?
A few hours after sports writer Rachel Galligan broke the news via Twitter that Dallas Wings center Liz Cambage requested a trade from the franchise today, Dallas Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb issued the following statement:
“Liz Cambage has communicated through her representation a desire to play elsewhere in the WNBA during the 2019 season. While Liz is currently under contract with the Dallas Wings, we will work to resolve this issue while keeping the interest of our organization the priority.”
Cambage first played in the league in 2011 at the age of 19 after becoming the No. 2 pick in the WNBA draft, selected by the now-defunct Tulsa Shock. The 6-8 Australian star led the league last summer in points per game (23.0) and only trailed Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles in rebounds per contest (9.65). She also set the WNBA record for points in a game last season scoring 53 on July 17 against New York.
Before she even played a single game for the Shock in 2011, Cambage made waves by letting it be known that her clear choice for a team was the Los Angeles Sparks. It was no surprise that she decided not to return to Tulsa after her inaugural season, especially given the team’s dismal 3-31 record and coaching woes her first year.
She missed the first half of the 2012 season due to training with her national team, the Opals, for the 2012 London Games. However, instead of reporting to the Shock after the Olympics, she decided to stay in Australia after missing her flight to the U.S. She later revealed that she was too mentally and physically exhausted to play for the Shock for the rest of the summer.
Cambage returned to the Shock in 2013 but did not come back after that season in order to train with the Opals for the 2014 FIBA World Championships in 2014. She never went back to Tulsa. Her league comeback became official last February when she signed a multi-year contract with the Wings. At the time, she was the leading scorer in Australia’s WNBL.
Near the end of last season, the Wings fired head coach Fred Williams after he had an altercation with Bibb in Washington D.C. during the aftermath of the team’s loss to the Mystics. Cambage had nothing but positive words about Williams after he was fired indicating that the two had been in contact for several years before she joined the Wings. She credited his support of her career as a major factor in her signing with the Dallas.
Today, the Los Angeles Sparks announced that the team hired Williams to be an assistant under new head coach Derek Fisher. The Sparks’ former coach Brian Agler, who resigned in November, is now the head coach of the Wings. While there is no news yet on where Cambage will end up, it will not be a shocker if she lands on the Sparks roster. The dream she voiced in 2011 to play basketball for Los Angeles may become reality.