Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Free agent Liz Cambage calls out WNBA pay structure, is reportedly talking to Los Angeles Sparks

Liz Cambage is one of the most talented players hitting free agency this winter. She’s also one of the most interesting to follow because there’s more uncertainty surrounding her future than perhaps any other star on the market. That only became more true on Tuesday. 

Early in the day, Cambage took to social media to call out the WNBA’s pay structure and travel accommodations after reports that new Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon is set to be the first coach in league history to make over $1 million. 

“ahhh yes the @WNBA, where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest paid players super max contract,” Cambage wrote. “lmao and y’all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket.”

The Aces are not expected to re-sign Cambage, so perhaps there were a few sour grapes on display, but she was 100 percent correct on both fronts. Hammon absolutely deserves the money she earned, but it’s not a great look for the league when a coach is making many times more than the highest-paid players. Especially when most players already have to spend all winter playing overseas for extra money, and therefore rarely get a break. 

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Travel has also been a major issue for the league. In the interest of competitive fairness, all teams are required to fly commercial, which is not ideal. Among other problems, teams are restricted to airlines’ travel schedules and tall players are crammed into coach or have to upgrade their seats with their own money. The Aces know first hand what can happen when things go wrong on the travel front. In 2018, they forfeited a game after a particularly brutal travel situation. 

Cambage’s comments led to speculation that she might step away from the WNBA. Earlier in her career, she left the league for four seasons, and she also sat out of the bubble in 2020. Of course, she also might just sign elsewhere. 

On ESPN’s free agency special on Tuesday, Holly Rowe reported, “L.A. is talking to Liz Cambage, don’t be shocked if they can find some money to get here there.” Back in 2019, Cambage expressed a clear desire to play in Los Angeles but was traded to the Aces instead. Could this be the year she finally ends up in Los Angeles?

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