Tensions were high both during and after the Chicago Sky’s loss to the Las Vegas Aces
Chicago Sky head coach and general manager James Wade took exception to the way Sunday night’s game against the Las Vegas Aces played out.
“[Liz Cambage] was protected by the refs,” Wade said. “[The trash talking is] uncalled for. She’s such a great lady. She doesn’t have to do that. She’s one of the most dominant players in the league. The game didn’t have to go the way it went. That was one of the most ridiculous games I have ever seen in my life and that I’ve ever been a part of, and it’s not called for. We sent in three plays from the last game [against the Aces], and it wasn’t addressed, so she was able to do anything she wanted, and I was tired of it.”
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Cambage shot eight free throws in the game, and received a technical in the first half for yelling at Stefanie Dolson. The Sky shot 31 free throws as a team to the Aces’ 30, although Wade contended that the officiating crew called the game differently down the stretch of the game to even up the free throw totals.
Wade went on to say that the Sky will send in more plays to the league for review, but that Chicago has to deal with the adversity. That adversity came early when starter Stefanie Dolson picked up two early fouls and finished the night with five fouls in just 11 minutes of playtime.
Wade said that the calls against Dolson forced her to play hesitant on defense, and did not allow her to get into a groove. The veteran center went scoreless Sunday night, taking just three shots in her limited playtime. The Sky rely on Dolson now more than ever after the team announced that starter Jantel Lavender will likely miss the rest of the season with a left foot fracture.
Tensions concerning the game’s rough and tumble style of play came to a head when Parker and Aces Center Liz Cambage had a confrontation midway through the third quarter. Parker received a technical from the officiating crew.
“I agree with [James Wade],” Parker said. “The calls were obvious, just like the last time we were in Vegas. [Liz Cambage] gets a lot of calls, and it takes the fun out of the game. You try to play hard and do what you gotta do, and it just takes the fun out of it.”
Parker, for her part, poured in 16 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of playtime. She was one of the few bright spots in a game where the Sky shot 34% from the field and 28% from three. Diamond DeShields also had a strong showing with 28 points and five made threes, although Chicago as a team did not resemble their usual free-flowing selves on offense.
“I’m not trying to take this game away from Las Vegas,” Wade said later. “They beat us. It’s just that simple. Whatever conditions there were, they beat us. That’s a good team. That’s a championship team. It’s been said since the beginning of the season. They’re a championship team. They’re the best team in the world, and we deal with it.”
Issues continued to persist after the game, however.
Guard Allie Quigley tweeted out that, “It’s a shame that someone who has struggled with mental illness continuously calls people a fat a$ on the court. Not the first time. And people wonder how/where depression starts. Be better. Just play.”
The tweet is presumably directed at Cambage, who recently spoke about her struggles with anxiety and depression in an article in the Players’ Tribune.
Cambage responded to the tweet later that night, denying the accusation on Twitter.
Dolson responded to Camabage indirectly on Instagram a few hours later, and then tweeted out that she had heard what she heard, and apparently the ref had to.
The Sky and Aces do not have any remaining regular season matchups left on their schedules, but could potentially see each other at some point in the playoffs.
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