Australian basketball gun Liz Cambage today executed one of the most devastating plays the WNBA has ever seen, and she did it before even taking to the court: the Las Vegas Aces centre wore a shirt featuring her own ESPN Body Issue photoshoot ahead of a crucial semifinal playoff.
In case you missed it, Cambage was one of 20 athletes chosen to feature in ESPN’s September celebration of sportspeople and their miraculous rigs. A series of artful nude portraits, posted on the ESPN website, celebrate the body of a player born to be a basketball phenomenon.
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I’m so honored to be apart of this years #ESPNBODY issue, and to be a covergirl as well is so insane to me. Its been a long journey learning to love myself, but at 28 years old I am very proud that I am able to say I freaking love every part of this 6’8 body. Humans come in all shapes and sizes, and I think it’s so great that the body issue gives us athletes a platform to show you what we really look like, in our truest, most vulnerable yet powerful form; NAKED! So thank you @espn and the body issue team for wanting me to be a part of something so special, @ramonashelburne for writing an amazing piece about me and my phenomenal photographer @sophyholland for making me so comfortable on the day while we made magic!!
One of those photos wound up on Cambage’s shirt before today’s game against the Washington Mystics, representing a literal and metaphorical flex from the 206cm baller.
The move was well received by fans online – with the exception of Mystics diehards, who essentially wanted their team to shut out the semifinal series.
LIZ CAMBAGE IS WEARING A T- SHIRT OF HERSELF FROM THE BODY ISSUE pic.twitter.com/oXM8HTqDuv— whitney medworth (@its_whitney) September 25, 2019
Nobody— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) September 25, 2019
Not a single soul
Liz Cambage flexed on everyone and they mama by wearing herself posing naked on her shirt. We HAVE TO STANpic.twitter.com/9mzFcaie4B
Liz Cambage is wearing a shirt of Liz Cambage posing naked for ESPN's The Body issue.— Michael Sykes, II (@MikeDSykes) September 25, 2019
This. Is. A. Flex. https://t.co/vt3RRdsPJt
The post-script to this saga is less triumphant. The Mystics won today’s game 90-94, ending Cambage’s season. Still, the Australian still managed to be the equal-highest scoring player on the court with 25 to her name, in addition to a game-high 12 rebounds.
You can read ESPN’s excellent Body Issue profile of Cambage here.