If You Ask me, Liz Cambage Is The League’s MVP
By Dorothy J Gentry
Before this season, Liz Cambage had been out of the WNBA for four years.
In her first year back, she very well could – and arguably should – be the league’s MVP.
Sure, her team – the Dallas Wings – are in the midst of a six-game losing streak.
Sure, the team – with 5 games left – currently have a strangle -hold on the eighth and final spot in the playoffs with little room for error lest they fall out of playoff contention.
But the 6-foot, 8-inch Australian center has infused not just the Wings, but the league with an electric volt of energy not seen in a while. She has redefined bigs and what they can do; is a beast offensively and when it comes to rebounding most teams have no answer for her. Even the referees struggle with her - as evidenced by her being just one tech away from her seventh and an automatic one-game suspension and monetary fine.
And lest we forget the league records she’s set – so far – this season:
She set the WNBA record for most points scored in a game (53) Liz tory they later named it after special T-shirts were made to commemorate the event
She then went on a scoring streak and through 6 games scored a whopping 206 points – the most in WNBA history in that time span
In her record setting 53-point game, Cambage hit a career-high four three-pointers and shot an efficient 15 of 16 from the free throw line.
She’s the most dominant player in the league. And she makes her team better.
Pairing with Skylar Diggins-Smith to form a formidable dynamic duo, they are the second-highest scoring pair of teammates in the league, trailing Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner most recently by only 0.3 points per game. Cambage's play, alongside Diggins-Smith, is one of the reasons the Wings have the second-highest offensive rating in the league.
She leads the league in points with 23 per game and is second in the league in rebounds with 9.6 per game. She's also shooting 58.8 percent from the floor, which ranks second in the league. And she is fourth in blocks and fifth in field goal percentage efficiency.
She's also been at the forefront of social media discussions surrounding pay inequities in the league and bad calls by referees - using her Twitter account to engage fan in discussions on both counts.
She’s a player of rock-star caliber.
A photo of her calmly filing her nails while seated on the bench – cool, chill, collected - went viral and invoked countless memes.
She was named an All-Star for only the second time in her career (first was 2013), and received her first start. She delighted the audience and social media with her dancing and thorough enjoyment of the All-Star weekend, and capped off the closing seconds of the game with a dunk – Liz Cambage style – with lots of flair.
She’s the MVP of the league and she helps widen its promotion, reach and publicity.
She has injected the league with a personality, a player who knows the game and plays it well - and is still accessible to fans, engaging them at all times and helping to build the fan base.
She even gave her shoe after the All-Star Game to a young fan. She engages the fans and helps build the fan base.
“Yeah, you know, the fans are the reason we're here. We wouldn't be here without them, and we love them so much,” she said. “Anything we can do to connect and encourage future players and fans, it's really important.”
She’s brought in a whole new fan base, resulting in higher ticket sales and more revenue all around. Wherever the Wings play, fans flock to see Liz in person, in action.
She’s the WNBA’s rock star player. But don’t get it twisted.
Despite the records, the dunks, the nail-filing viral photo and even the historic moments this season; Liz has one goal in mind – a championship.
“I want to get a ring. That’s all I want with Dallas. I want my team to do well. I want to get a ring. That’s what everyone plays for. Everyone wants a championship. So hopefully this is our year.”
She makes her team better.
She makes the league better.
She’s valuable to both for countless reasons.
Liz Cambage is this season’s MVP – no matter what happens in the postseason.