Published on May 7th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Having Skylar And All The Veterans In Training Camp Does Wonders, Says Brian Agler
The Dallas Wings training camp has started as they are looking to see, who will make this year’s roster. Two players from last season’s playoff team will most likely not see the court at all this season. One of them is Skylar Diggins Smith and the other is Liz Cambage.
Cambage had a dominating season last year that landed her second in the MVP voting, which went to Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart. Stewart was also the WNBA’s Finals MVP as well this past season. She even broke the record WNBA scoring record for most points in the game with 53 points against the New York Liberty. After the game, Liberty head coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Katie Smith praised Cambage on her record-breaking performance.
“She was hitting them from all over, it wasn’t like she was lobbying them up and shooting layups,” Smith told me. “She was knocking down three’s left and right she is one of the best players in the world for her size, skill, and she is a tough guard. I’m disappointed we gave her that many, but kudos to her. She was on one tonight.”
Diggins-Smith and Cambage help lead the Wings to the 2018 WNBA Playoffs last season with a 15-19 record but lost in the first the Phoenix Mercury. This was the second year in a row the Wings made the playoffs, but were bounced in the first round. After the season was over, Cambage would demand a trade from the Dallas Wings, according to Rachel Galligan.
Now, the trade request from the Wings may have seemed like it came out of left field, but it comes the narrative of her distaste for the WNBA as it regards to compensation the players are receiving. Cambage has been very outspoken about her concerns of travel, treatment, and pay in the WNBA. She also went on the record stating she wasn’t sure if she would return to the league this season.
“I’ve said this many times: [The WNBA] doesn’t pay my bills. Playing here doesn’t pay my bills,” Cambage said last season. “We make more money overseas. I’m ready to have next summer off and focus on getting a European contract where its 10 seasons here worth the pay.”
As for her teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith, there is optimistic that he will also miss the season, due to her just giving birth to her first child a baby boy this offseason. During the Wings’ first day of training camp on May 5th, Diggins-Smith did discuss some things with the media.
— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) May 5, 2019
“I’m trying not to really say any timelines for myself because I’ll be disappointed if I don’t meet those,” she added. “I really don’t have any expectations except to come, get better every day, and do as much as I can do until I can do it all – until I feel like myself,” said Diggins Smith.
Even though there isn’t a timeline of when Diggins Smith will return, but she has been visible and learning coach Brian Agler’s system just like her teammates. At practice yesterday, I asked coach Alger how important to have the face of their franchise in training camp even though she will be missing some time:
“I think Sklar and all the veteran players, whether they are on the floor or on the sidelines. It is really important that they are here to help coach the younger players because they have been in their position before. It is also good to be here and be very inattentive because it is also new for them too with having a new system being put in. It is helpful and in both cases, our interior leadership is really starting to develop,” said Agler.
The first preseason game will be May 13th on the road against the Atlanta Dream.