This Isn’t Dodgeball: Angel Reese Didn’t Take A Shot At Caitlin Clark. This Is the Rivalry the WNBA Has Been Waiting For, Embrace It

Where would women’s basketball be right now without a good beef inspired by Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark?

People are emotionally invested in the careers of Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese as both start to make their mark on the WNBA just a few games into their respective careers. And as expected, both have divided WNBA fans among the same lines that elevated both players to popularity during their classic, racially-charged duels in college.

Much of the supposed concern for the well-being of Clark comes from certain celebrities and social media types who insist that the women of the WNBA should be on their knees thanking her for attracting the interest of the chauvinistic, 20-something-and-up male who never even glanced at a women’s basketball game or respected the thought of it enough to take interest in the talent the league has offered for 28 years.

Elle Duncan had a solid take on this damned if you do, damned if you don’t dilemma that many players and media find themselves in regarding America’s Sweetheart. She’s just exhausted from all of it.

“What else are these women supposed to do? Fawn over her? Fangirl over her? Bend the frickin knee?” Duncan asked, in one of her most classic rants.

Women Are Here To Compete With Clark, Not Take A Knee

That pressure, from the new WNBA fan base, to anoint Clark on and off the court, and the fact that both Clark and Reese are ascending as leaders of their teams as rookies, has set the stage for the entire social media mosh pit surrounding these women to keep the rivalry flowing on all levels.

Of course, this infatuation with Clark, combined with her $28 million Nike deal and preferable status with chartered planes and top billing when it comes to nationally televised games doesn’t sit well with other players and certain media. Most agree that Clark is a phenomenal talent but would also agree that it’s overkill at times.

Jemele Hill suggested that because Clark is a heterosexual woman and white, those factors play a role in her burgeoning popularity. People went crazy.

Angel Reese Buys Stake In Soccer Team, Licks Shots At Charles Barkley and Clark?

Angel Reese, a face of Reebok and contributor to the Chicago Sky, who upset the New York Liberty on Thursday to advance to 2-1 on the young season, is also getting deals and recently bought ownership in a professional soccer team (DC Power Football Club) and her social media followers continue to spike past a WNBA league-high 3 million.

After helping the Chicago Sky get a hard-earned victory over the NY Liberty, Reese seemingly called out Clark and Charles Barkley on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“And that’s on getting a WIN in a packed area not just cause of one player on our charter flight,” Reese wrote. 

This post from Reese immediately went viral, although she eventually deleted it. The Clark Hive came out shooting back at Reese.

Just like old times. The plan is coming together better than an A-Team episode.

“Incredibly disheartening to see Angel Reese attack Caitlin Clark like this,” Riley Gaines of OutKick said. “Just entirely baseless and distasteful. The tweet screams jealousy and insecurity.”

“I really don’t get it,” a fan replied. “Everyone wanted people to watch the WNBA. Now they have a player in Clark that has attracted fans and they are trying to take her out.”

Another fan said, “Disappointing, since Angel had previously been far better than that.”

Every movement needs a leader. CC’s got her people and Chi Barbie has hers. Reese has never been one to hold her tongue, and we know dating back to college that their rivalry is a storyline that everyone can follow.

Getting to know them personally, off the court is also part of the experience. The WNBA needs to keep leaning into that. People need to stop simping for CC and start appreciating the rivalry that is now continuing into the WNBA.

Everyone Wanted WNBA’s Version Of Magic vs. Bird

You wanted a WNBA version of Bird vs. Magic: this is as close as you’re going to get. Regardless of the players around them, both Clark and Reese come with their own bult-in culture and invested fan base.

Reese has been energetic and ferocious on the boards for Chicago Sky. She has played big late in the game in both of their unexpected wins. Many preseason polls had Chicago picked to finish last. But Teresa Witherspoon’s fast-paced offense and strong defense is proving to be a winning formula. They are top seven in scoring and top three in defensive rebounding.

While Clark is heard blasting her teammates on audio and a protective narrative grows in Indiana about the lack of talent surrounding her and the inability of her coach, Reese continues to promote team unity and remind people of the dedication, focus and magnificence that she and her teammates also bring to the table.

“I don’t play with my girls. I want my girls to experience that. A lot of people don’t get these same opportunities and I’mma let everybody eat on it,” Reese said to reporters after the Sky blitzed Breanna Stewart’s Liberty 91-80.

She knows that a league can’t survive on the back of one player. She also knows it’s disrespectful for anyone to suggest that Clark is the only brand and woman of value that takes the court each night in the W.

Reese refuses to be marginalized in a league that is supposed to uplift all women equally. So if she has to call out disparities in coverage, charter flights, opportunities and praise for women who traveled the same journey as she and Clark, then so be it.

She’s also going to do it with a smile on her face.

As emotional as everyone gets about Clark, no superstar can ascend to the highest level without an adversary. A villain to some, a hero to others. Either way, Clark vs. Reese is alive and well and the WNBA will benefit from all the drama. Because at the end of the day, it’s just basketball.

More TSL Stories:

Jemele Hill Draws Wrath Of Caitlin Clark Fans Again: Is Clark’s Status As A White WNBA Player With a Boyfriend Boosting Her Brand? (

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