NBA Commissioner Says Caitlin Clark Is 'Generating Tremendous Additional Interest' for WNBA

The commissioner called Chennedy Carter's recent flagrant foul on Clark a "welcome to the league" moment

<p>Michael Hickey/Getty</p> Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever talks to reporters at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 1, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver weighed in on the eventful first weeks of Caitlin Clark's WNBA career, saying that the ongoing headlines involving the Indiana Fever star are "generating tremendous additional interest" for the women's league.

According to CNN and The Athletic, Silver was asked to comment on the situation between Clark, 22, and Chennedy Carter of the Chicago Sky, in which a flagrant foul from Carter, 25, resulted in days of commentary about whether the WNBA should be doing more to protect Clark, or if people were being too sensitive.

"Other than as a fan, obviously, it's nothing new in basketball that there's sort of 'welcome to the league' moments, especially for heralded rookies, but, of course, I want to see Caitlin treated fairly and appropriately in the league," Silver, 62, told reporters before the first game of the NBA Finals on Thursday, June 6.

Related: Chicago Sky's Angel Reese Fined by WNBA, Chennedy Carter Foul Upgraded After She Pushed Caitlin Clark

<p>Emilee Chinn/Getty</p> Teammates help Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever off the court after an apparent injury during the second quarter in the game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 20, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (

The commissioner called Clark a "tough player" and said it seems "like she can take care of herself" on the court.

"I think it may be lost on some people that are new to basketball, in terms of a little bit of controversy in the WNBA, what an incredible talent she is: two Final Fours, leading scorer in the history of college basketball. I look forward to watching her ongoing development in the league," Silver continued, per the outlets.

"I think ultimately this is very healthy for women's basketball and the WNBA," he added, noting that the ongoing headlines about Clark, including analyst Pat McAfee's recent apology to her and players from the Sky claiming the incident with Carter led to harassment, is "generating tremendous additional interest" in the league.

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Silver concluded his response by acknowledging that the WNBA's buzz began before Clark even declared for the draft.

"In fairness to the other players and in fairness to Commissioner [Cathy] Engelbert, this didn't just start this year," Silver said. "Certainly we're seeing an acceleration of it with Caitlin, but many individual stars who came in this league in the last several years."

<p>Steph Chambers/Getty </p> Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever reacts during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Storm in the game at Climate Pledge Arena on May 22, 2024 in Seattle, Washington

Related: Angel Reese Talks Caitlin Clark and Says the WNBA Has Grown 'Because of Me Too'

On Sunday, June 2, the league upgraded Carter’s foul on Clark during the Sky-Fever matchup from a common foul to a flagrant 1 violation.

After the game, Carter told reporters: "I ain't answering no Caitlin Clark questions," as seen in a video shared by Fever reporter Matthew Byrne.

Carter went on to criticize Clark's style of play in a reply on Threads. Responding to the video of herself at the press conference, Carter wrote, "& that’s that on that cause beside three point shooting what does she bring to the table man."

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