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Celebrated Rookies Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese Respond to Fan Criticism of Seasoned WNBA Players

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Basketball star Caitlin Clark made history during her last Indiana Fever game—but her competitors didn’t make it easy for her.

While Indiana Fever lost to the Los Angeles Sparks on May 28, Clark played her best game of the season so far, scoring 30 points and racking up five rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks. According to CBS Sports, she’s the first rookie to score at least 30 points and have five rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks in a game. She’s one of only four players in the entire WNBA to achieve those stats in a game—one of whom being her so-called nemesis Diana Taurasi.

There has been a lot of discourse surrounding seasoned WNBA players’ treatment of rookies like Clark and Angel Reese, who are responsible for the massive wave of new viewership for the league. While players like Taurasi have faced backlash for certain statements made about the new players, some fans are taking issue with how hard some of the more seasoned players are going at them on the court as well.

One Sparks player even went viral for aggressively guarding Clark between free-throws. “LMAO Caitlin Clark only player in league to get this treatment and she a rookie,” one fan responded to the moment on X.com.

When it comes to the physical game, Caitlin Clark doesn’t appear too bothered about the “physical” attention she's receiving on the court, though she definitely notices—and doesn't seem to think she's receiving equal treatment from some of the officials, which is an entirely different issue. “I think everybody’s physical with me," Clark said during a recent press conference. “You know, they get away with things [that] probably, other people don't get away with.”

Even so, Clark said she “absolutely” expected the fierce competition heading into the league. “It’s tough but that's just the fact of the matter,” she continued. “You’re gonna get pressure, that’s just professional basketball. So I think it is what it is, honestly.”

Angel Reese expressed a similar sentiment after experiencing a hard foul by Alyssa Thomas that got the Connecticut Sun player ejected from the game. In fact, she even thanked Thomas for “going at me every day.”

“It’s not just because I’m a rookie, I’m a player,” Reese told reporters. “I'm a basketball player. They don’t give a damn if I’m a rookie. I want them to come at me every day. I want them to come at everybody. I mean, they’re not supposed to be nice to me. I hope you know that they’re not supposed to be nice to me or lay down because I’m Angel Reese or because I’m a rookie.”

Meanwhile, Phoenix Mercury player Natasha Cloud slammed the “extremely hateful” rhetoric currently surrounding the WNBA. “Y’all want us to hate each other so bad and that’s the furthest thing from the fucking truth,” she said in a recent press conference. “We love our sisters. This is a sisterhood [for] everyone that’s a part of this league, but [don't] expect us to not go out and be dogs every single night when we step across those lines.”


Originally Appeared on Glamour