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Revealing Cambage quips reinforce Opals rift

Former Opals captain Jenna O’Hea told ABC’s Offsiders on Sunday Cambage will never represent her country again and also confirmed the superstar told Nigerian players to “go back to your third world country” during an altercation at a pre-Olympics practice last year, before pulling out of the Games citing mental health reasons.Cambage appeared to respond to reports of O’Hea’s revelations, tweeting: “The truth will always come to light, and it ain’t even dawn yet.”Watch Live Coverage of The 2022 NBA Playoffs with ESPN on Kayo including every game of The Conference Finals and The Finals. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >In her first WNBA season with the Los Angeles Sparks after moving from the Las Vegas Aces earlier this year, the team has faced questions about its radical off-season recruitment and whether the strong personalities brought into the squad would gel.In a story published on The Athleticlate on Monday night, Cambage was quoted reiterating the bond she shares with new teammates she “loves”.“It’s a narrative for no reason, just trying to paint negative for no reason when I’m surrounded by girls I love, girls who understand me, girls who are going to push me to be better,” Cambage said. “I feel like it’s just people wishing us bad. WNBA Twitter can say what they want. But y’all not in the locker room, y’all ain’t with the team.”The Sparks are two-from-two to start the season and after a win over Chicago a few days ago, Cambage again spoke about her admiration for her teammates.“I’m surrounded by so many great women,” Cambage said. “We just focus on working hard and winning.“I don’t think there is a ceiling. I can see this team celebrating in September. Watch and see what we do, and then say something.”It’s a sentiment echoed in an interview with the LA Times published a few days ago, where Cambage said: “This season is going to be the first of my career where I’ve been surrounded by so much love and support and fans and friends in the same city. It’s a dream come true. “I’m surrounded by people that actually care and want the best out of me.”That article prompted LA Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson to praise Cambage on Twitter on Monday night.“I loved the story on LA Sparks player Liz Cambage today in the LA Times. She’s such a smart, intelligent woman and has more going on than just basketball,” he wrote.Cambage’s comments are in stark contrast to how she has spoken recently about her time in green and gold, telling the ABC a week ago she “never” felt supported or protected while representing her country.“I’m supported (in LA), I’m protected on a level that the Opals or the Australian team never gave to me,” Cambage said.“My heart lies with those who want to protect me and those who want me to be the best I can be, and I never felt that at the Opals at all. So yeah, I’m good.”Cambage’s viewpoint differs greatly from those in the Australian camp. Basketball legend and former Basketball Australia board member Andrew Gaze was scathing of Cambage, saying the environment she was in was supportive but she didn’t live up to her end of the deal.“The thing that really, really grates at me is when she makes the comments to say she feels supported in Los Angeles at a level that wasn’t there with the Australian team; and the suggestion that she was never supported by Australia, the Opals or Basketball Australia, that is highly offensive,” Gaze told SEN’s The Run Home.“There was some behaviour from Liz that under any reasonable judgment, there would have been some significant repercussions“She was supported, not just by me, but any others along the way.“To say that she wasn’t supported is unfair; it is grossly unfair.”O’Hea also said she can “hold my head up high” because she did her best to support Cambage.“I always loved her, always cared for her, always supported her, always had her back,” she told Offsiders.“I think that is her reality and I think listeners and watchers out there can believe who they want to believe.“Everyone has done more than enough (to try and keep Cambage playing for Australia). We have sacrificed a lot to try and keep her in the program. You know, she doesn’t want to be here anymore and that’s her choice and we need to move on without her.”

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