“I Gave Her A Little Tap To Make Sure She’s Cool” | After Rookie Initiation WNBA Vets Are Beginning To Show Caitlin Clark Some Respect

Caitlin Clark’s arrival to the WNBA has been good for business. For the first time in the history of the league viewership, attendance, merchandise sales and All-Star voting are up at the same time.

A league that’s been run on $60M in revenue is even looking to double that to $120M, and that’s all a residual effect of the former Iowa Hawkeyes legend joining the league after an illustrious four-year college career. 

Despite all the good Clark’s arrival has done for the league from a business standpoint, not everyone has been to happy about the love she’s received. From the opening game this season, Clark has been the target of some of the league’s veteran players who likely felt as if hadn’t earned her stripes to be getting so much coverage. Each game put Clark was targeted by vets, and at times it even went beyond the game of basketball. 

At times Clark’s Indiana Fever teammates seemed as if they were jealous of her, and they often showed it by not coming to her defense. That has seemingly changed over the last couple weeks, and it seems other teams and their veteran players are taking notice. 

Aces Star Jackie Young And Others Display Great Sportsmanship 

Prior to last Sunday’s Fever road win over the Phoenix, Mercury stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner both made it a point to go over and hug Clark, with Griner sharing some words of encouragement with her. That hasn’t happened much this season for Clark, who even mentioned that she gets no advice from anyone during games. 

Following Taurasi and Griner’s extending an olive branch to Clark, Las Vegas Aces star Jackie Young seemingly followed suit during a matchup last Tuesday. After Clark fell, Young did her best to make sure she was OK, and even untied her shoe to stall and give Clark more time to collect herself.

“Just doing the right thing — just making sure she’s good, and just checking on her,” Young said. “I gave her a little tap and made sure she’s cool. Because at the end of the day, we just wanna play this game, have fun, and be healthy.

“Just giving her a little time to reset, regroup and make sure she’s OK.”

Clark Caps Off Great Week With Triple-Double

The past week for Clark was one of many firsts, from the newfound sportsmanship being exhibited towards her, to the over 20,300 fans packing T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to see her play. It was the fifth-largest crowd in WNBA history and the largest since 1999. 

To cap off the week, the WNBA Rookie of the Year front-runner went out and recorded the first triple-double (19 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists) by a rookie in league history. She also did it against the league’s top team, the now-17-4 New York Liberty in a huge 83-78 win. 

All it took was Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman saying that Clark’s teammates need to defend after some rough play early on this season. It seems that they’ve gotten the memo, and opponents have since followed suit.

They’ll be no targeting Clark without consequences, and because of that her play has picked up drastically. 

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