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Caitlin Clark, Who Eclipsed Dallas Cowboys’ 2023 Sales, Resolves Matt Barnes’ Take on A’ja Wilson Debate

Published 04/20/2024, 1:29 AM EDT

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Has Caitlin Clark already surpassed seasoned WNBA stars in terms of impact? The media coverage and the recent developments would suggest so. From record viewerships to ticket sales for games still weeks away, The Caitlin Clark Effect is in full flow. One such recent incident is Clark getting her own shoes before the reigning Finals MVP, A’ja Wilson, and many other WNBA superstars. Amid all the talks surrounding this move, ex-NBA forward Matt Barnes has also weighed in with his opinion on the issue.

“There’s no question that the best player in the WNBA (A’ja Wilson) should have her own shoe. But at the same time, Caitlin Clark is a rock star. The viewership, the jersey sales, they said she sold more jerseys in one day than the Cowboys sold all last year. You can’t compare anybody to her,” the ex-NBA star stated.

Notably, the Dallas Cowboys is the NFL’s most valuable franchise with a net worth of $9.2 Billion. As per the National Sportswriters Hall of Famer, Dick Weiss, “Caitlin Clark sold more Fever jerseys in one day than the Cowboys sold last year for the entire team.” The Cowboys had 3 players in the top 10 of the most jerseys sold list last year, including Micah Parsons’ No.1 selling jersey.

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Matt Barnes further backed his opinion by stating Clark has had the biggest impact on women’s basketball in a long time. “And that’s why she has shoes. So congratulations to her. And A’ja Wilson should definitely have some shoes,” he said. It is worth mentioning that Wilson is currently arguably the biggest WNBA star. As per ESPN WNBA Stat Leaders 2023, she had the third-highest points per game (22.8) in the league, second-highest rebounds per game (9.5), and highest blocks per game.

 

 

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Apart from this, Wilson is a 2X WNBA champion (2022 and 2023) and 2023 WNBA Finals MVP. And despite having an impressive scoring average of 22.8 ppg, her defensive abilities are also top-notch. She is a 2x WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2022 and 2023). However, it cannot be denied that WNBA as a league has been seeking a transformation. And multiple experts and players have placed their faith in upcoming stars like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese.

Caitlin Clark’s impact on the game

The Iowa Hawkeyes icon’s impact on the game was evidently visible during her 2023 NCAA tournament run. She has been among the fan favorites and now claims the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history. Notably, the match-up between two rising college basketball stars, Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, averaged 12.3 million viewers on ESPN.

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And this impact is likely to continue with her WNBA journey as has been visible from her jersey sales. Apart from that, an article by Ball State University has highlighted the future impact of Clark on her WNBA franchise. A study by Miller College’s Dr. Michael Hicks states Clark’s addition to Indiana Fever will bring about 26,000 more fans to Fever games.

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Meanwhile, former ESPN anchor Betsy Ross states, “There is no reason to think that viewers would lose interest when Clark makes the jump from college basketball to the pros… The intangible is that she adds a ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ factor to the city that the hottest player in the league will call home”. This faith in Clark by NBA stars like Matt Barnes and other experts paints a promising picture of her future impact.

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Written by:

Khelendra Kumar Yadav

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Khelendra is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports, where he brings insightful analysis and engaging content to basketball enthusiasts worldwide. With a passion for the game cultivated from his own experiences as a basketball player, he has represented his school team in numerous tournaments, honing both skills and an intimate understanding of the sport. Khelendra holds a PG Diploma in Digital Media from a reputed university, providing him with a solid foundation in multimedia storytelling and digital content creation.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth