Angel Reese Has a Lot to Say About All The Attention Caitlin Clark Receives in the WNBA

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There are 144 players in the WNBA. Based on how mainstream media has covered the league this season, you’d think there’s only one. Yes, I’m talking about Caitlin Clark. The rookie phenom’s unprecedented popularity has brought a lot of new fans to the game. Unfortunately, with all those new fans comes uninformed BS.

During Saturday’s game between the Chicago Sky and the Indiana Fever, toward the end of the third quarter, Chennedy Carter and Clark were waiting for the inbound pass when Carter knocked Clark to the floor with a hard shoulder check. In the moment, the refs called it a common foul, though the next day it was upgraded to a flagrant 1.

Chennedy Carter gets Flagrant 1 call for shove on Caitlin Clark 👀 | WNBA on ESPN

The incident sparked a firestorm of endless discourse about how the Iowa alum is being treated by veterans and that they should show more gratitude for the attention and viewers she’s bringing to the game. The issue with that narrative is that while Clark is definitely the big name in this rookie class, she’s certainly not the only star…something the Sky’s Angel Reese reminded reporters of after Monday’s practice

Reesenoted that this Angel vs. Caitlin narrative has been out there since LSU defeated Iowa in the 2023 NCAA national championship game. She also explained why she’s OK being seen as the villain.

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“People are talking about women’s basketball that you’d never think would be talking about women’s basketball. People are pulling up to games. We’ve got celebrities coming to games [and] sold-out arenas just because of one single game,” Reese said.

“And just looking at that, I’ll take that role. I’ll take the bad guy role, and I’ll continue to take that on and be that for my teammates, and I know I’ll go down in history.”

Angel Reese & Chennedy Carter on Physical Play, Hard Foul on Caitlin Clark

It’s also worth noting that while Clark has certainly gained household name status, Reese has also been a pivotal part of making this such an attention grabbing rookie class. From being on the red carpet at the 2024 Met Gala, to appearing on stage with Megan Thee Stallion, she’s been getting the celebrity treatment and definitely has fans showing up to see her.

“I’ll look back in 20 years and be like: ‘Yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person, it’s because of me, too.’ I want y’all to realize that. It’s not just because of one person,” she said. “A lot of us have done so much for this game. Chennedy has been here before, obviously. There are so many great players in this league that have deserved this for a really, really long time. Luckily, it’s coming now.”

If you’re the Chicago Sky or its fans, that’s the kind of confidence you want from one of your stars. When Anthony Edwards was getting his shit off during the NBA Playoffs, all the analysts were so excited they were proclaiming him the next Michael Jordan. But a woman feeling the same way about her game makes her cocky and a bad guy.

By the way, Carter has “no regrets” about the play. She explained that it was a “heat of the moment” competition and that’s part of the game.

“I’m going to compete and play, 100 [percent] hard, no matter who it is,” Carter said. “I don’t know Caitlin. I don’t know her from anywhere. But at the end of the day, this is competitive and this is basketball.”

And just in case you’re looking for other WNBA stories to talk about: the Connecticut Sun are still undefeated; the Minnesota Lynx are quietly returning to championship form; the Las Vegas Aces are making a strong case for a threepeat; the New York Liberty’s starting five is putting everyone on notice; and there’s a possibility this could be Diana Taurasi’s final season.

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