'I am rooting for Caitlin': NBA superstar LeBron James voices support for Caitlin Clark

NBA superstar LeBron James is among those rooting for Caitlin Clark to do well in the WNBA.

James discussed Clark and the WNBA on his "Mind the Game" podcast with former player turned commentator and co-host J.J. Reddick. James, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, dealt with much media hype dating back to his high school days as a teenager. He sees Clark, the former Iowa women's basketball star, as someone who could help the WNBA grow.

"The one thing that I love that she's bringing to her sport is that more people want to watch, more people want to tune in," James said. "Don't get it twisted, don't get it (expletive) up. Caitlin Clark is the reason a lot of great things are going to happen for the WNBA."

After being a record-breaking player at Iowa, Clark was selected No. 1 overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA draft last month. Four games into her professional career, Clark is averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds, but the Fever are off to a 0-4 start to the season.

As she adjusts from the college game, Clark has shot 41.2% from the field and just 34.3% from 3-point range. She averaged 28.4 points, 8.2 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game with the Hawkeyes, including 31.6 points, 8.9 assists, and 7.4 rebounds as a senior last season on 46% shooting from the field and 38% from three.

James said he wants Clark to concentrate on her play and let the outside noise not impact her. He speaks from experience as someone who has dealt with the hype from the media and fans throughout his career, especially when he came into the league.

"But for her individually, I don't think she should get involved on nothing that's being said," James said. "Just go have fun, enjoy. I am rooting for Caitlin because I've been in that seat before. I've walked that road before. I hope she kills. I hope Aaliyah Boston does amazing. I hope they do great."

LeBron James compares hate Bronny James gets to Caitlin Clark

James specifically called out the people who are showing hatred toward the former Iowa women's basketball star. James has seen his son, Bronny, deal with hype and high expectations from the media and fans. Bronny entered the 2024 NBA draft after averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 37% shooting in his lone college season at USC.

Bronny, listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, dealt with adversity in his lone college season. Outside of being the son of one of the greatest players ever, Bronny was cleared by doctors for a full return to basketball four months after suffering a cardiac arrest in November. He debuted on Dec. 10, a month into the college basketball season.

"I am in this mode right now because I am getting the same thing watching my son, who is 19 years old, getting a lot of animosity and hatred towards him when he's just a kid trying to live out his dream," James said. "There's a very small number of men and women who get to live out their dream of playing a professional sport. And we have grown-ass men and women out here doing whatever they can to make sure that does not happen. That is the weirdest thing in the world, but it is what it is. I am glad Caitlin has a great head on her shoulders."

This article originally appeared on Hawk Central: LeBron James says he is rooting for Caitlin Clark to succeed in WNBA