Home/Olympics

USA Today via Reuters

The controversy revolving around the exclusion of Caitlin Clark from the Olympics roster doesn’t seem to end. A flood of reactions has followed this decision with people from both ends of the court weighing in. While Monica McNutt believes that there was nothing wrong with USA basketball’s decision, her contemporary analyst Stephen A. Smith has a contradictory view on the situation.

The American TV personality was the latest in the long line of eminent names, having a say about Caitlin Clark’s Olympics snub. On his platform, The Stephen A. Smith Show, he backed the case for her inclusion. Smith said, “I was on record saying this was an idiotic decision by Team USA. I just want the world to know, I haven’t changed my mind one damn bit. I think it was idiocy, personally.” 

However, he clarified that his opinions weren’t a reflection from a basketball standpoint. “Every single player that is on Team USA deserves to be there ahead of Caitlin Clark without question. I’m not thinking about basketball, I’m thinking purely about marketing… I’m thinking about the fact that the WNBA swears they want to elevate its brand. That women’s basketball obviously deserves a higher profile,” Smith added on the podcast.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The ESPN analyst continued, “The WNBA is entering its 28th season for crying out loud. They’ve never gotten the hype that they’ve received over the last month or so since Caitlin Clark has arrived on the scene. Record ratings, record revenues, record attendances, they’ve never had it before.” The 56-year-old further stated that the Olympics would have been the best opportunity to grow the game because of the added eyes.

The boom in marketing that Caitlin Clark has brought in the WNBA is clear to see. The trend of record-breaking TV audiences that she started in her college basketball days has continued in her first year as a pro. Her advent into the league resulted in more than 3 million people witnessing her getting drafted. In addition to this, the Indiana Fever’s road encounter against the Washington Mystics garnered a whopping crowd of 20,333, which is the most in a WNBA regular season game since 1998.

USA Today via Reuters

Meanwhile, this development has drawn some reactions from WNBA great Diana Taurasi as well. Taurasi is among the few names who made it to the Olympics team as a rookie.

Diana Taurasi’s thoughts on the Caitlin Clark snub

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The 5x Olympic champion has also put forth her unfiltered expressions regarding the whole Olympics scenario of Caitlin Clark. She said, “The game of basketball is all about evolving. It’s all about getting comfortable with your surroundings. College basketball is much different than the WNBA than it is overseas. Each one almost is like a different dance you have to learn. And once you learn the steps and the rhythm and you have a skill set that is superior to everyone else, everything else will fall into place.” 

In 2004, she occupied a place in the U.S. Olympic team soon after her graduation from the University of Connecticut. Since then, she’s represented the national team in every Olympics winning a gold on each occasion.

The narratives continue to get traction with anything that involves Caitlin Clark’s name. As for the fans, they just want to catch her brilliance on the court regardless of where she plays. And so far in the WNBA, they have absolutely loved her exhibition.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the Reese-Clark rivalry and more, watch this video.