Mercury feed into Diana Taurasi-Caitlin Clark rivalry, other WNBA teams prepare for Clark

Count the Phoenix Mercury among those feeding into the blossoming rivalry between their star veteran Diana Taurasi and incoming rookie Caitlin Clark.

On Monday, the team posted an advertisement on X, formerly Twitter, for single game tickets against the Indiana Fever, the team widely expected to draft Clark with the No. 1 overall pick next week. The post featured a graphic labeling Taurasi "The Goat" looming over a shadow of a player wearing Clark's No. 22 named "The Rook."

"This moment has become a movement," the caption said. "Whether you’ve been here for a decade or a day - your chance to witness greatness is here."

The matchup is scheduled for June 30 at the Footprint Center. Tickets start at $109.

The post comes two days after Taurasi spoke with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt about what rookies can expect when making the leap from college to the pros. Van Pelt asked the question about rookies in general, naming Clark and South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso.

"Reality is coming. There's levels to this thing," said Taurasi, the 10-time WNBA All-Star and two-time champion. "And that's just life, we all went through it. You see it on the NBA side and you're gonna see it on this side where you look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you're gonna come with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time. Not saying that's not gonna translate. 'Cause when you're great at what you do, you're just gonna get better. But there is gonna be a transition period where you're gonna have to give yourself some grace as a rookie and it might take a little bit longer for some people."

Many fans ran with the angle that Taurasi was criticizing Clark and on Sunday, posted funny videos saying Taurasi celebrated when Clark lost in the national championship game to South Carolina.

After beating the Hawkeyes for the title, Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley thanked the Iowa phenom for her contributions to women's basketball and called her "one of the GOATs of our game."

Earlier this month, Clark broke Taurasi's record for most career 3-point shots in the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark reacts after making a 3-pointer against South Carolina in the championship game.
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark reacts after making a 3-pointer against South Carolina in the championship game.

Las Vegas Aces change venue for game against Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever

Other WNBA teams are also preparing to capitalize on the Clark effect.

The Minnesota Lynx scheduled Maya Moore's number retirement ceremony for the game against the Fever. Moore is Clark's childhood idol.

The two-time defending champion Las Vegas Aces also changed the venue for their July 2 game against Indiana. The matchup will be played at T-Mobile Arena, the home of the Vegas Golden Knights and a popular venue for boxing matches. The arena holds 20,000 people, and the Aces' home venue, the Michelob ULTRA Arena, has a capacity of 12,000. The Aces have already sold out five home games.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Phoenix Mercury feed into Diana Taurasi-Caitlin Clark rivalry