Opals coach Carrie Graf hopes rising basketball star Liz Cambage learns her lessons after sparking a Twitter storm before Australia's gold-medal dream ended on Thursday night.

Cambage had initially laughed off suggestions she took a swipe at swimmer Stephanie Rice over her purported fling with married US basketballer Kobe Bryant in the lead up to the 86-73 semi-final loss to US.

Speculation that Rice and Bryant drummed up a romance during the London Games went into overdrive when Cambage appeared to pass comment on their alleged relationship.

"I love how Kobe has his wife with him at the Olympics, yet still surrounded by groupies!!!" Cambage tweeted on Wednesday. "Some women need to get a grip, ASAP!"

Shattered by the 13-point loss to the US at North Greenwich Arena, Cambage reacted angrily to questions about her controversial tweet.

"It's funny how the media turn nothing into something - give you guys an inch and you take a mile," she said.

But Graf admitted the Olympics would serve as an important learning curve for the 203cm skyscraper who also struggled badly in the Opals' quarter-final win over China.

"There's lessons every day for Liz Cambage," Graf said. "She wasn't focused in the first half against China.

"But she showed tonight that when she is focused she can be exceptional.

"She's 20 and all 20-year-olds love social media and they learn lessons about that every day too.

"It's youth, it's wonderful to work with sometimes and frustrating other times."

NZ Newswire

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