Liz Cambage quits Tokyo Olympics 2021, Andrew Bogut, ‘disgusting’ Nigeria comments

Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut says what Liz Cambage is alleged to have told Nigerian players in a closed scrimmage is “absolutely disgusting”, hoping she gets the help she needs and can bounce back from her mental health issues.

Cambage pulled out of the Opals’ Olympics campaign last week, citing mental health issues from being forced to stay inside a biosecure bubble, adding she was finding it difficult to cope without any friends or family to support her.

Her statement came after reports emerged of Opals players discussing booting Cambage out of the team following a private practice against Nigeria in Las Vegas. Cambage was reportedly involved in a physical altercation which sparked verbal abuse, and allegedly broke the team’s bubble to go out in Vegas.

Cambage admitted “things got heated” but hit out at “lies” in an Instagram video and denied ever going out in Sin City.

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Bogut said Cambage is one of the best players in the world and her absence is a “huge loss” for the Opals. He hopes she gets better, but said mental health issues can’t excuse her alleged behaviour.

“The story around it is separating the mental health from the behaviours that you had. I’m not saying she’s using it as an excuse or whatever, but the rumours are pretty damning,” Bogut said on the latest episode of his podcast Rogue Bogues.

Bogut referenced a report from 2GB’s James Willis, saying Cambage used words you wouldn’t dare repeat.

The basketball legend added: “And they were words that you wouldn’t dare repeat. They were horrendous.

“You just can’t excuse those kinds of behaviours, mental health or not.

“That doesn’t excuse you making the comments that I’ve heard, off the record, (which are) are absolutely … disgusting.

“It never gives you an excuse to just go out there and make those kinds of comments, in my opinion.”

Andrew Bogut thought Cambage’s remarks were “disgusting”.Source: Getty Images
Liz Cambage will not compete at the Tokyo Olympics.Source: Getty Images

‘I can’t forgive’ Cambage comments

Bogut’s podcast co-host Mike Procopio, a basketball coach who worked closely with the late Kobe Bryant, said he hopes Cambage doesn’t rush her return to the court once the Olympics are over, urging the WNBA – where she plays for the Las Vegas Aces – to give her all the time she needs to get better.

“From that statement she put out, she is dealing with this big problem so to me if you really care about this player and this girl, the league itself should say, ‘You need to step away and you need to get some help and you need to get back to centre. Then we can get back to basketball,” Procopio told Rogue Bogues.

“I’ve heard what she’s said too and it’s pretty f***ing despicable … it’s a nightmare what she said.

“If it’s mental health, that’s fine, I understand that to a certain degree. But the s**t that she said is, to me, I can’t forgive it. It’s pretty bad and it’s going to get out eventually, let’s be honest, it will get out.

“The WNBA really needs to step in and say, ‘You’re not well to play right now. We care about you as a person more than we care about you as a basketball player, so we need to get you help’.”

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