Rolling Out

Brittney Sykes denies drama within LA Sparks; thankful for career

Brittney Sykes denies drama within LA Sparks; thankful for career
Los Angeles Sparks guard Brittney Sykes. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

Brittney Sykes wants the world to know all is well within the Los Angeles Sparks locker room regarding its superstar center.

Shortly after the 2022 WNBA season started, one of Liz Cambage‘s former Australian teammates publicly revealed that Cambage told her Nigerian opponents to go back to their “third-world country.” The alleged comment happened in a closed scrimmage prior to the 2021 Olympics. Cambage later withdrew her name from the competition, citing mental health concerns on living in the Olympic village bubble for an extended period.

Among her new Sparks teammates is the star Nigerian-American duo of Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. The surfacing of the rumors caused speculation about how it would affect the team’s chemistry this season. Recently, Sykes stopped by the rolling out office to dispel doubts about the team’s dynamics.

With Liz Cambage and her relationship with her teammates the Ogumike sisters, how’s the feel of the locker room?

Well, to be totally honest, we do a pretty good job of filtering all that out. We’re worried about who we’re playing, we have a four-game road trip. As for everything that got out, that’s something I personally can’t even speak on because I wasn’t there. It’s one of those things where you just keep your head down. Obviously, you’re not ignorant to the facts, but you just keep your head down and you just do what’s asked of you. I can only control what I can control. It’s one of those things where that had to be a question for them. But I don’t even think that that’s a question that needs to be asked. That’s something that was in the past.

How did the team react to  Te’a Cooper and Arella Guirantes getting cut?

I mean, it hurt for everybody. We’ve been building chemistry and relationships for three years with Te’a, two years with Arella. But I just think those type of cuts makes you realize how cutthroat the league can be. It’s starting to become even more because before you wouldn’t really hear about those types of cuts. But now, it’s anybody’s job on the line because of maybe money or maybe what a coach is looking to do in the near future. But I’m pretty sure they can get picked up by another team. Whenever that moment presents itself.

You’re in intimate company now as a WNBA vet. But going back, how were your college years at Syracuse?

A transformation throughout those years was probably the year I tore my ACL a second time … it’s one of those things where I needed it to happen in order to be who I am today … I knew there was something I missed in that first go-around if I wanted to be the person I know I’m destined to be … One of them was talking to a therapist.

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