Liz Cambage needs to cope better with referees says Lauren: Jackson

Liz Cambage of the Las Vegas Aces reacts after being called for a foul against the Washington Mystics. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Lauren Jackson says fellow basketball big Liz Cambage needs to work out how to cope with the treatment she gets from referees after her latest indiscretion.

One of the most dominant centres in the women's game and the Opals' primary inside weapon, 203 cm Cambage was ejected in the fourth quarter of last week's pre-Olympic tournament match with Japan.

She was also removed from the Commonwealth Games final in 2018.

Cambage has also had disciplinary issues in both the WNBL and WNBA.

In her 2017-18 WNBL stint with Melbourne Boomers, she was ejected from a couple of games and given a one-match suspension for unduly rough play.

In the 2018 WNBA season she drew several technical fouls.

Jackson, who is now Basketball Australia's head of women in basketball, was, at 195cm, also a dominant physical presence throughout her illustrious career.

She empathises with the issues former Opals teammate Cambage is having to deal with.

"I get it. I know it's frustrating and it's never going to change so she's ,just going to have to suck it up," Jackson told AAP.

"That's international basketball and it may not be fair.

"Tall people, we always get hit. We're big and she is big and she's one of the best players in the world right now.

"I think for Lizzie to move through this she's just got to look forward and think about how she's going to cope with being treated like that by the referees because it's not going to stop."

The Opals' defeat by Japan was the second against that nation this year and they have also lost to China since winning the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup.

Jackson concedes those results are a concern.

"It would be remiss of me to say 'no, you can't look past that' because if the Opals come up against Japan at the Olympics, it's going to be a very tough game for them," she said.

"The Opals have got some stuff to prove and I expect they will.

"I think come the Olympics some athletes are going to be ready to step up."

The WNBL resumes this week after a brief break for the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Malaysia.

Jackson is excited by the quality and competitiveness so far and the emergence of some good youngsters including Shyla Heal, the daughter of former Boomers' star Shane Heal.

"In terms of our league and women's basketball I think that we are going places; I really feel like we're on the cusp of greatness and it's really exciting,"Jackson said.