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Angel Reese says rival Caitlin Clark isn’t the only reason WNBA is popular: ‘It’s because of me, too’

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Angel Reese doesn’t believe Caitlin Clark is the only reason the WNBA has become popular over the past year.

“I think so many people are watching women’s basketball right now,” the Chicago Sky star told WGN News after practice Monday.

“It all started from the national championship Game, and I’ve been dealing with this for two years now, and understand that, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me. But honestly, I’ll take that because look where women’s basketball is.”

Reese, 22, said the league is gaining recognition from people who “you never would think would be talking about women’s basketball.”

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark playing basketball.
Angel Reese said Caitlin Clark is not the only reason the WNBA has become popular over the past year. Getty Images
Angel Reese talking to reporters.
The Chicago Sky star said the league is gaining recognition from people who “you never would think would be talking about women’s basketball.” WGN9

“People are pulling up to Games. We’ve got celebrities coming to Games [and] sold-out arenas just because of one single Game,” she said, referring to the 2023 women’s NCAA title Game, in which her college team, the LSU Tigers, won against Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes.

The forward said she is ready to “take the bad guy role” if it means the WNBA will continue to grow.

“I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like, ‘Yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person. It’s because of me, too.’ And I want you to realize that,” she continued.

“Like, it’s just not ’cause of one person. A lot of us have done so much for this game.”

Angel Reese talking to reporters.
“I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like, ‘Yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person. It’s because of me, too,'” she told reporters Monday. WGN9
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark playing basketball.
Reese believes the 2023 women’s NCAA title game, in which her college team, LSU, won against Clark’s team, Iowa, brought more eyes to women’s basketball. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Clark, also 22, has been lauded by many for taking women’s professional basketball to another level.

Charles Barkley recently said WNBA players should be “thanking” the Indiana Fever star “for getting y’all ass private charters.”

“All the money and visibility she’s bringing to the WNBA, what she’s accomplished, give her her flowers,” the 11-time NBA All-Star, 61, said. “Stop being petty, all you women out there. … Caitlin Clark, thank you for bringing all that money and shine to the WNBA.”

LeBron James also said Clark “was the reason why a lot of great things [are] gonna happen for the WNBA.”

Angel Reese playing basketball.
The Indiana Fever star has been lauded by many for taking women’s professional basketball to another level. Michelle Farsi/New York Post
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark playing basketball.
Charles Barkley recently said WNBA players should be “thanking” Clark “for getting y’all ass private charters.” Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“I’m rooting for Caitlin because I’ve been in that seat before. I’ve walked that road before. I hope she kills!” the Los Angeles Lakers star, 39, said on his “Mind the Game” podcast on May 23.

Reese recently took issue with the praise Clark was receiving.

The DC Power Football Club part-owner posted and deleted a message on X after her team beat the New York Liberty last month.

“and that’s on getting a WIN in a packed area (sic) not just cause of one player on our charter flight. 😘 #SKYTOWN,” she wrote on May 23.

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark at the 2024 WNBA Draft.
As for Reese’s personal feelings toward Clark, she said in March that “it’s not personal.” Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark at the Empire State Building.
“Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super-comPetitive Game,” she told reporters. Getty Images

As for Reese’s personal feelings toward her rival, she said in March that “it’s not personal.”

“Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super-comPetitive Game,” she told reporters.

“Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends. I’m going to talk trash to you. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get in your head the whole entire game, but after the game, we can kick it. I don’t think people really realize that.”

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