First things first, Liz Cambage loves playing for Australia.

She does.

But she also loves music festivals. We’ve seen her at festivals/concerts on numerous occasions. The sequence of events would usually go something like this:

  • Retrieve mangled music festival ticket from pocket
  • pass through security
  • enter festival area
  • argue about what stage to head to
  • “Hey look, there’s Liz Cambage”  *redundant pointing gesture*

Thinking that she enjoys the same music that we do has warmed the cockles of our hearts.

But, man, she’s good at basketball. And in the end, regardless of what was/wasn’t negotiated with Basketball Australia, Liz made a conscious choice.

She decided to stay in Byron Bay and continue to “host” a band, rather than head down to Melbourne and train with her National teammates.

“I am a person that does not pull out of things, whether it a professional commitment, a personal commitment or as a basketballer for my country,” she told News Corp reporters Sunday night.

Liz made a choice.

Choice: Remain at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay instead of attending Opals training camp in Melbourne.


  • Enjoy live music (can we get any iPhone recording of the Shlomo set please?)


  • Don’t play for Australia in an Olympic qualifying tournament
  • Azealia Banks

Her decision has drawn the ire of many, as well as some tough love from her teammates.

Since we are big SAFIA fans here in The Locker Room, we’re not going to judge.

Liz isn’t the first player in basketball history to make a curious decision, though, and she won’t be the last.

Here are some examples of choices made by other ballers that fall into the ill-advised category.


Choice: Vinny Del Negro’s wife re-sells Spurs merchandise outside the Alamo.

Pros: Supplement husband’s $2M salary. Stay on grind.

Con: Get falsely arrested and publicly humiliated.


Choice: Whilst in Houston during the 1995 NBA Finals, Orlando guard Nick Anderson, who could only drive automatic cars, purchased a Ferrari with manual transmission.

Pro: Ferrari.

Con: Can not drive Ferrari.


Choice: Nets captain Kenny Anderson visits strip club in lieu of attending practice.

Pro: Opportunity to meet new and interesting people in a friendly, well-lit setting.

Cons: Destroy your team. Prompt 1992-gold-medal-winning coach Chuck Daly to resign.


Choice: Phoenix Suns forward Robert Horry throws towel at coach Danny Ainge after being benched.

Pro: Gets traded to the Lakers and wins three championships.Con: Nil at time of writing, however you do not, under any circumstances, want to mess with Danny Ainge. He does not forget.


Choice: Hawks forward Alan Henderson, frustrated at a no-call, hurls ball into the stands.

Pro: That really good feeling.

Con: Ball strikes Dikembe Mutombo’s adopted 13-year-old daughter in the head.


Choice: Pacers-assistant coach Rick Carlisle attempts to trip Latrell Sprewell from the bench.

Pro: Collects $1500 reward and hi-five from P.J. Carlesimo.

Con: Sprewell is fired up as a result, leads Knicks to victory.


Choice: Mark Cuban elects to watch the game from a seated position on the baseline.Pro: Really close to the action.

Con: Whopping $100,000 fine.


Choice: Cippers centre Michael Olowokandi skips a mandatory team breakfast because he wants to sleep in.

Pros: Dreamt that he was playing for the other Los Angeles team, coached by a talking fax machine. Scores a team-high 19 points the same day.

Con: Fined $50,000.


Choice: Cleveland Cavaliers mascot wipes the court during a timeout with the jersey of recently traded guard Ricky Davis.

Pros: Removal of hazardous moisture from the court surface. LOLs from the crowd.

Con: $5,000 fine, but really, nil.


Choice: Stacey Augmon defends Steve Francis by squirting lotion on a reporter asking tough questions.

Pro: Elevation to number 1 on Steve Francis’ Christmas Card list.

Con: Reputation damage stemming from use of lotion as a weapon.


Choice: Rookies Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur and Michael Beasley bring women, weed to hotel at the start of the NBA Rookie Transition Program.

Pros: You’ll have to ask them.

Con: Chalmers and Arthur kicked off program, forced to repeat.

NB: Beasley on hiding: Beasley acknowledged that he was hiding in the room when hotel security initially arrived. “I’m 19, so I kind of tried to be a kid and get away with it,” Beasley said.


Choice: Pacers forward Stephen Jackson fires five shots into the air outside a strip club.Pro: Completes mandatory “Strip Club Pop”.

Con: The whole thing.


This list could probably continue ad infinitum, but, if we continue, the point that we’re trying to make, if not already unclear, will probably get lost in a story involving a moped or something.

Liz made her choice and consequently won’t have the opportunity to wear the Aussie uniform in the near term.

As the poster-Opal for this #Homecoming campaign, we were certainly looking forward to her participation.  But in the words of Basketball Australia, she chose to make herself “unavailable”.

Note: Based on her Instagram account, one of Cambage’s’s favourite artists is Kanye West.

In 2007, Kanye re-hashed and released one of this old songs and called it #Homecoming.

There’s irony in there somewhere.

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One Response

  1. Luuuc at |

    I’m fine with her choice. It’s purely the timing of it that disappoints me. It indicates to me a lack of respect for the team, and also to the fans, many of whom have likely bought tickets to the big #Homecoming double-header with the expectation of having her there as the drawcard of the women’s match.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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