Sport is a tough world, pals. A tough, tough world. One minute you’re king or queen of the mountain, and the next you’re out on your ass.
Dual-sport champion Erin Phillips has today found that out the hard way, with the 31-year-old basketball and football gun unceremoniously given the flick by the Dallas Wings, her WNBA side.
The 31-year-old played for the Wings, and served as a team captain during last year’s season. She crossed over to the side after being traded by the Los Angeles Sparks.
But today, Phillips suddenly finds herself without a side, with the Wings waiving Phillips as they cut their roster down to 12 players for the upcoming season.
Phillips stepped away from basketball at the end of last year to return to Australia and play for the Adelaide Crows in the inaugural AFLW season, one that she dominated from an individual standpoint, sweeping the league’s awards and leading the Crows en route to a historic AFLW Premiership victory.
Phillips, along with her wife and infant twin daughters, had returned to Dallas to allow her preparations for the upcoming WNBA season to begin, but her cut from the side today puts her future in the sport in limbo.
Under WNBA rules, Phillips will now sit on waivers for a few days – during which time any side can pick her – before she becomes a free agent. The turbulent nature of free agency in basketball means Phillips could have to wait weeks, and rely on injury to another player, before a club decides to throw her a lifeline.
The implications for Phillips’ future in the game are huge. The AFLW recognises the value in its most visible (and one of its most popular) players and could offer her a deal that would see her focus on football full-time. Should this happen, it would go a long way towards derailing Phillips’ previously-stated desire to make one last Olympic run with the Opals in 2020.
Phillips’ Wings teammate Aerial Powers posted a with the Aussie gun to Instagram just a few hours before she was cut by the side.
Phillips has stated a desire to return to the Crows for the 2018 AFLW season.
Source: The Age.
Photo: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty.