Caitlin Clark tries to stay focused on basketball as noise around her gets louder

"I try to block it out ... But I don’t really think it’s that different from when I was in college," Clark said

Caitlin Clark has been a major topic in sports and beyond this week, following the uproar over Chennedy Carter's hard foul on her in last Saturday's game between the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky. That fueled conversation about the greater attention that Clark has drawn to the WNBA and Pat McAfee's unfortunate choice of words in attempting to praise her.

However, Clark herself didn't listen to much of the noise that circulated during the week. Prior to Friday's matchup with the Washington Mystics in D.C., the Fever star explained that she avoids social media to maintain some distance. Of course, when such topics dominate the sports news cycle, it gets back to her.

"Sometimes it stinks how much the conversation is outside of basketball, not the product on the floor and the amazing players that are on the floor," Clark told USA Today's Christine Brennan, "and how good they are for their teams, and how great this season has been for women's basketball going from college to now the WNBA and the crowds are unprecedented ... the viewership is amazing."

"I try to block it out. I don't have social media on my phone, I don't go on it, I don't see a lot of it," she added. "But I don’t really think it’s that different from when I was in college. Everybody’s going to have their opinion. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion ... You just gotta be focused on what's in your locker room, what's in your organization, how your teammates feel, how your coaches feel. ”

Clark emphasized that playing basketball and dealing with what surrounds it is her job. But going home and seeing the discourse on TV makes this different from how many of us attempt to maintain work-life balance. The attention and scrutiny she received as a college superstar at Iowa surely helped her deal with this. Clark certainly sounds like she has a healthy perspective on all the attention around her.

Yet Clark and the WNBA overall figure to get even more focus once the NBA season ends in the coming weeks. Baseball and the Olympics will also draw fan and media attention as the summer progresses. But Clark frequently being on national TV will keep her atop the sports news cycle no matter what, and hopefully that chatter stays civil.

After a four-day break, Clark and the Fever are back in action Friday night vs. the Mystics at 7:30 p.m. ET. They'll look to pick up their third win of the season against winless Washington.