WNBA’s Dearica Hamby accuses Aces of bullying, manipulation

FILE - Las Vegas Aces' Dearica Hamby (5) dribbles up court during a WNBA basketball game...
FILE - Las Vegas Aces' Dearica Hamby (5) dribbles up court during a WNBA basketball game against the Phoenix Mercury, on May 6, 2022, in Phoenix. Two-time WNBA All-Star Dearica Hamby was traded by the Las Vegas Aces to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb, File)(Darryl Webb | AP)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 12:17 PM PST
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(AP) - The WNBA players’ union said Saturday it will review Dearica Hamby’s complaints about Las Vegas management after the Aces traded the two-time All-Star to the Los Angeles Sparks.

In an Instagram post, the 29-year-old Hamby said the Aces attacked her character and work ethic.

“Being traded is a part of the business,” Hamby posted. “Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not.”

A message was left by the AP seeking comment from the Aces.

Hamby agreed to a two-year contract extension with Las Vegas in June. She said in her Instagram post that Aces management said she knew she was pregnant at the time of the deal.

“This is false,” Hamby wrote. “I was told that I was a ‘question mark’ and that it was said that I said I would ‘get pregnant again’ and there was a concern for my level of commitment to the team.”

She also said the Aces said they were concerned Hamby wouldn’t be ready for this season. Hamby said she plans to play this season.

“I remained transparent with everyone within the organization, and yet, my honesty was met with coldness, disrespect, and disregard from members of management,” Hamby wrote. “I have only put this organization first since day one before any of them were here.”

The Women’s National Basketball Players Association said it would " seek a comprehensive investigation " to ensure that Hamby’s rights under the league’s 2020 labor agreement as well as state and federal laws were not violated.

The Sparks also received the Aces’ first-round pick in 2024 in exchange for the exclusive negotiating rights to Amanda Zahui B., plus the Sparks’ 2024 second-round pick.

“Adding Dearica to our roster plus a future first-round pick was a solid move for us,” Sparks GM Karen Bryant said in a statement. “We’re excited to have another key piece in place as we start free agency.”

Hamby spent her first eight WNBA seasons with the same franchise, dating to the Aces’ days in San Antonio as the Silver Stars. The 6-foot-3 forward was the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Hamby was the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year in 2019 and 2020. Hamby averaged 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Aces last season when they won their first WNBA championship. She was limited in the playoffs due to a knee injury.

“Dearica has dedicated eight years of her career to this organization, and played a big role in our success since the team moved to Las Vegas,” Aces general manager Natalie Williams said in a statement. “We’re going to miss her as a teammate, and are grateful for all of her contributions to the Aces over the years.”

Hamby announced at the Aces’ championship parade last September that she was expecting her second child. Hamby’s 5-year-old daughter Amaya accompanied her mother during the 2020 season, which was played in a bubble in Florida because of the pandemic. They were among those featured in the documentary “144.”

Zahui B. did not play in the WNBA last season after the Sparks placed her on the suspended list. She is averaging 6.2 points in seven seasons.

The Aces’ first home game of the 2023 season will be May 27 against the Sparks.