May 25, 2021 

Coach Miller’s press conference

“As a leader, words matter,” Miller said during a pre-scheduled media availability on Monday

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Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller during the WNBA game between the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA on May 25, 2019. Photo Credit: Chris Poss

“Words matter,” Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said as he publicly apologized to Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage for comments he made about her weight during the Sun-Aces game on Sunday night.

Miller was suspended for one game and fined $10,000 for his comments after Cambage said in a series of Instagram stories that Miller told a referee, “Come on, she’s 300 pounds,” while trying to argue for a call during the game.

“As a leader, words matter,” Miller said during a pre-scheduled media availability on Monday. “It wasn’t directed at Liz, but it makes no difference. I’m disappointed in myself, and truly sorry, remorseful, and apologize to Liz and the Aces organization. Words matter and I’m truly, truly sorry for the situation.”

Miller said he spoke with Cambage’s agent early this morning, but has not spoken directly with her. He said he has left several messages with Aces GM Dan Padover but has not been able to speak with anyone from the Aces organization yet.

Cambage, known for her physical play and trash talk, said in her posts that there is a big difference between players talking on the court and an opposing coach yelling “protected abuse,” because players can’t say anything back to them.

“If there’s one thing about me, It’s that I will never let a man disrespect me, ever, ever, ever, especially a little white one,” Cambage said on Instagram.“To the coach of Connecticut – I’m sorry little sir, man, I don’t know your name – but the next time you try to call at a referee, you know, trying to get a call, being like, ‘Come on, she’s 300 pounds.’ I’m gonna need you to get it, right baby.”

Cambage corrected Miller on her weight, which she said is 235 pounds.

“I’m very proud of being a big bitch,” Cambage said. “Big body, big Benz, baby. So don’t ever try to disrespect me or another woman in the league. I don’t know if that’s how coaches run? You just try to disrespect women like that on the sidelines?”

Miller apologized to Cambage and the Aces in a statement the Sun released Monday morning. He continued to apologize during the press call, even as some reporters asked him if he felt his suspension or Cambage’s comments were unfair.

“In a league where we empower women – and I spent 31 years empowering women – just not acceptable,” Miller said.

Natisha Hiedeman, the only Sun player who had media availability on Monday, said the team was focused on their game against the reigning champion Seattle Storm on Tuesday.

“Yeah, he issued a statement, and he apologized for, you know, what he said,” Hiedeman said. “We’re really just focused on the game, and as a team, of course, we stand behind our coach.”

Miller will serve his suspension during tomorrow’s game against the Storm. Assistant coaches Brandi Poole and Chris Koclanes will serve as co-head coaches during the game. 

Poole has been with Miller for 17 years, and Koclanes has been with him since he joined the Sun, Miller said. Both are veteran coaches with championship pedigrees who know how to prepare for the game. 

He said both will make great head coaches one day. Miller said he was disappointed that his actions took the “shine” away from his coaches and his players, who have led the Sun to its first 5-0 start since 2018.

“They have a sisterhood that will continue tomorrow,” Miller said. “What they have going right now is really special, and it’s unfortunate because the shine should be on their start. The shine should be on their play, and unfortunately, it is not.”

Written by Jacqueline LeBlanc

Jacqueline LeBlanc is the Connecticut Sun beat reporter for The Next. Prior to The Next, Jacqueline has written for Her Hoop Stats and Sports Illustrated.

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