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2 Feb, 2022 17:32

Women’s NBA superstar bemoans flight upgrade costs in pay row

The controversial basketball champion is not happy at having to pay for her own flight upgrades
Women’s NBA superstar bemoans flight upgrade costs in pay row

WNBA superstar Liz Cambage has reacted angrily to reports that Becky Hammon, the new head coach of the Las Vegas Aces team she plays for, will earn a $1 million salary – pledging to stop paying for her flight upgrades while claiming that the wage gap between bosses and players is laughable.

Controversial Cambage, who admitted at the end of 2021 that she supplements her income on racy subscription site OnlyFans, lashed out at claims that former San Antonio Spurs assistant Hammon will become the highest-paid individual in the WNBA, with Aces owner Mark Davis said to be paying her salary.

Players on 'super-max' WNBA contracts, including Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Seattle’s Breanna Stewart, earn $228,000 a season, according to news.com.au.

The outlet says that despite a salary cap for the new season just shy of $1.4 million, there is no salary cap for coaches and executives.

Australia icon Cambage, who is said to have been paid $221,000 by the Aces last season and is now a free agent, voiced her dismay at the purported figures.

"Ah yes, the WNBA – where a head coach can get paid four times the highest-paid players super max contract," said the fashion model and Instagram sensation.

"And you all think I'm [going to] spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket."

When news of her move to OnlyFans broke, Cambage told a report that she had been tempted by the prospect of making "crazy" money.

In 2018, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the relatively little-watched WNBA had lost an average of $10 million a year since its inception 22 years earlier.

WNBA icon Sue Bird's partner, US Women's National Team footballer Megan Rapinoe, has been a figurehead for equal pay in her sport, appearing before a congressional panel in 2021 to passionately put forward her case.

Cambage's opinion on WNBA pay received a mixed response on social media, where some fans agreed and others argued that the financial disparity between the women's league and the NBA means players cannot expect luxuries comparable to their male counterparts.

"There are only three teams in the NBA that actually own their private plane The [Los Angeles] Lakers, the [Boston] Celtics, and the [Dallas Mavericks]," claimed one respondent.

"The costs of one of those Airbus A320’s, like the one Boston has, costs about $110 million, which is close to double the entire revenue of the WNBA."

Another said: "She has a point. I just think the WNBA needs to do a better job as a whole for travel situations.

"Every team should have their own private plane, just like the NBA. Even college players' travel situation is better."

2012 London Olympic Games bronze medalist Cambage withdrew from the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 over mental health problems, having faced allegations of incidents including a confrontation with a rival player during Australia's pre-Games preparations in Las Vegas.

The 6ft 8in London-born center had previously threatened to quit the Games, citing what she saw as a lack of diversity in promotional photos produced by the Australian Olympic Committee.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion went on to say that "fake tan doesn't equal diversity" and criticize "white-washed Australia".