Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage says she thinks that the Olympic break saved the rest of her WNBA season.
Back in July, Cambage withdrew from the Games, citing mental health. There was controversy surrounding the decision, as there were reports of multiple incidents involving Cambage, including a physical and verbal altercation with Nigeria during a closed scrimmage.
Following the Aces’ 84-83 comeback win over Washington, Cambage said she was happy to take the break and not play in the Olympics.
“I had no idea how exhausted, stressed and broken I was,” Cambage said. “I pulled out [of the Olympics] and slept for a week. Then it took me another three days to get out of bed. Then I went back to work.
“I was in a place where I was like, ‘I’m exhausted, I can’t give anyone anything.’ Thinking about coming back here after the Olympics, I was just overwhelmed. So I’m really happy that I took the break. Because if I went to the Olympics, there would be no way I could have a chance to play [the second part of the WNBA season]. And it’s happened before.”
In the past, Cambage played in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics for Australia. Following the London Olympics in 2012, Cambage had planned to rejoin her WNBA team — then the Tulsa Shock — but couldn’t bring herself to do it.
“I really don’t think people realize how tough it is to just slap the Olympics in the middle of the season,” Cambage said. “I have no idea how Sue [Bird] and Diana [Taurasi] have done it five times.”