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Kristi Toliver opts out of 2020 WNBA season

The Washington Wizards assistant coach was expected to start the first season of a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Sparks this summer.

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards
Kristi Toliver will not play for the Los Angeles Sparks this summer.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

On Friday, the Los Angeles Sparks announced that guard Kristi Toliver will opt out of the 2020 WNBA season. She was going to enter the first year of a three-year contract with Los Angeles. Toliver is also an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards where she is finishing her second season.

In her statement, Toliver said the following:

Though I want very much to compete with my team, to be a leader and show up for them, I am not comfortable with the risk to my physical health – short-term and long-term – given the many unknowns of COVID-19 and the risk of injury. For me, the right decision under the circumstances is to opt out for the year.

During my time away I will get myself mentally and physically prepared for the 2021 season, and in light of the many social justice issues that are finally and rightfully front and center, I will find new ways to make a positive impact in my community. I look forward to rejoining my teammates in LA next season and wish them good health and safety this season. Go Sparks.”

It is unclear whether Toliver will report to Orlando where the Wizards are expected to participate in the 2019-20 NBA season restart at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. But from that statement, it wouldn’t surprise me if she opts out from them as well.

We will update this post if and when we hear more.