“I Can’t Control The Refs. They Affected the Game A Lot”: Angel Reese Made A Bad Move By Criticizing Refs As Rookie of the Year Candidate On 4-9 Team

Sports is better with a hero and a villain, and in all of her greatness, Angel Reese has decided to fully embrace her arch-nemesis of Caitlin Clark persona and potentially take it to the bank. Even if it means blasting the referees after a tough loss.

Reese played another professional game for the Chicago Sky in the team’s 88-83 loss to Caitlin Clark’s Indian Fever. 

Unfortunately, her personal foul on a driving Caitlin Clark resulted in a flagrant 1, and the concentration of coverage on that one play totally tainted a well-played, competitive game on both sides. 

Angel Reese Averages a Double-Double

Reese leads all rookies in double-doubles. She’s averaging 12.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest this season and shooting 37.1 percent from the floor. She’s also averaging 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals. 

Reese has a six-game double-double streak going as well, which lets you know that her game is a combination of power and finesse that few can duplicate. 

Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese spent most of her loss to Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever in foul trouble. She blamed the referees for affecting the outcome of the game. (Photos: Getty Images)

Averaging a double-double is no small feat in the WNBA, where physicality has never been a curse word — unless you foul Caitlin Clark. 

Reese, Kardoso, Clark Cornerstones Of Future Championship Contenders

Let’s remember that the Chicago Sky and Indiana Fever were the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference last season. 

Both teams purposely brought in top rookies to become the cornerstones to future success. These girls didn’t have the luxury of a Kate Martin who joined the two-time defending champion Aces with three Olympians and all-time greats on it already. They didn’t have the luxury of a Cameron Brink or Rickea Jackson to join a team with established veterans like Kia Nurse, Lexi Brown and MVP candidate Dearica Hamby in LA. 

Angel Reese (No. 7 overall pick) and Kamilla Cardoso (No. 3 overall) were the foundational pieces to new coach Teresa Weatherspoon’s revamped team culture.

In an era where perimeter shooting is the main offensive objective of most pro hoops teams, T-Spoon is building around her post players, in hopes of grabbing that explosive guard and the pieces to put around them in the future. Fortifying the front line and establishing a defensive mentality is a great place to start. 

 For now, they have to scrap and scrape and learn the league and develop relationships with the ref. Those are things that will make Reese, a strong contender for WNBA Rookie of the Year, an even better player going forward.

Angel Reese Is A Rookie That Shouldn’t Be Criticizing Refs

Complaining about the calls definitely wasn’t a smart move. 

“A basketball play. It was a basketball play,” Reese said. “I can’t control the refs. They affected the game obviously a lot tonight.” Reese was adamant officials were not calling the same game on both ends of the floor. The Sky were called for 21 personal fouls as a team, while the Fever were whistled for 17. Reese and Cardoso had five fouls. A piece

 “I think we went up really strong a lot of times, and we didn’t get a lot of calls,” Reese explained when asked about her and Cardoso’s performances. “Going back and looking at the film, I’ve seen a lot of calls that weren’t made. I guess some people got a special whistle. But just being able to play hard as best as we.”

Reese doesn’t have to address the officials at all. We are not even halfway through the season. She can’t get caught up in what people on social media and other divisive forces will say. 

Be A Villain, But Stay Cool With The Stripes

There’s plenty of basketball remaining on the schedule. Stay focused on developing that chemistry with Cardoso. That’s the future. That’s what it’s really about. Imagine if they get a chance to add JuJu Watkins in 2026 or Paige Bueckers in 2025. 

Then that team is all the way up. This is just the beginning, so having grace and establishing yourself as a player who respects the refs and understands how the game is played is very important. 

Put the reality TV stuff to the side. Keep the smiles on. Be tough and exact, but don’t cop pleas. It’s OK to just get beat. Grace. Even a “Baddie” is graceful is her defeat. Especially when she knows the next win is around the corner. 

Caitlin Clark Gave Reese A Pass On The Flagrant Foul 

Clark could have incited a riot if she chose to hype the situation as malicious or with intention. Instead, she kept the gas off the fire and downplayed the foul as being a part of the game. 

Clark on the foul: “It’s just part of basketball. It is what it is. Trying to make a play on the ball, get the block. I mean, it happens.”

It is what it is. Clark never blames the refs when she has a bad game, or she thinks she’s fouled. She will address them more directly during the game about it. She’s definitely not shy to show her emotions on the court. And she’s no choir girl.

Geno Auriemma Says Caitlin Clark Not Built For Physical WNBA

UConn legendary coach Geno Auriemma acknowledges as much when asked about Clark and the way she’s handling her meteoric rise to fame while adjusting to the pros. 

“I think she’s handling it great,” Auriemma said. “I think she talks a lot of s—, and she gets a lot of s— back. She deserves everything she gets because she gives it as good as she gets it. She’s just not built for the physicality of this league, and she’s not quick enough to get away from the physicality.”

Right now, Clark is just a pup, and she will get stronger and more familiar with the pace of the league. That comes with time. For now, her splits 15/6/5 say she’s a weapon on the rise. 

Angel Reese doesn’t lack physicality. Her reputation often precedes her. Clark, however, has also rolled with the punches and her grit suggests Auriemma is wrong and she is a tough cookie as well. 

With their early-season performances, there’s no question that Reese and Clark will be the lead contenders for WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2024.

“I think there’s been a lot of talk about women’s basketball. It’s a big thing. It’s huge. But what you want to be spoken about is the game,” Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon said at a pregame news conference. “The skill, the talent, versatility, how hard we play. What they have to do to be able to step between those four lines all the time. And to talk about the competitors. They’re out there to compete and go win.”

Moving away from the love or hate theme with these women and focusing on accolades and accomplishments is something Weatherspoon wants to highlight going forward.

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