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  Debate

Debate

Are Chennedy Carter and Angel Reese the new villains of the WNBA, or just misunderstood?

How much passion is too much passion? Well, if you ask Chicago Sky’s Barbie-Chenn duo, Angel Reese and Chennedy Carter, everything is fair in a game! On more than one occasion, the WNBA world has seen their passions get the better of them. Previously, we saw the two take hits on Caitlin Clark in their first two meetings with the Indiana Fever where the latter won. Now, the veteran stars of the Seattle Storm, Jewell Loyd and Nneka Ogwumike, experienced that aggressiveness firsthand while trying to defend their home court.

Interestingly, both the incidents in focus happened in the second half of the game. The visiting Sky was trailing the hosts at that point. In the third quarter, with the game clock reading 3:43 minutes left, Angel Reese tried muscling her way to the rim. However, Ezi Magbegor kept rejecting her, finally sending the ball into the hands of Nneka Ogwumike. The rookie then accidentally (?) tripped the Australian center, but the game didn’t stop.

Following that, 9x WNBA All-Star Nneka Ogwumike passed the ball to Jewell Loyd, who went past Chennedy Carter for a seemingly open layup attempt. But before the 2x Olympian could convert the layup, Carter smacked Loyd in the head without getting any of the ball. The officiating crew for the night upgraded the foul to a flagrant-1 immediately after the whistle. However, that wasn’t it for the night.

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Angel Reese also slapped Nneka Ogwumike in the following quarter while trying to swipe the ball. With 8:24 left in the game, the Chi-Town Barbie was hustling in the paint against the 2016 WNBA MVP. As Ogwumike made a layup, the Baltimore native raked her across the face but again got away with no whistle. The ongoing physical battle certainly reminds everyone of how the team went against Caitlin Clark.

Angel Reese vs Caitlin Clark: Origin of the WNBA Rivalry

The two most popular rookies have faced off against each other from high school to the professional leagues. But if there was one place that they have stood together, it would be the pedestal for their impact on basketball. Still, their on-court rivalry, which really came into the spotlight back in the 2023 NCAA Championship game, has seeped into the WNBA. In fact, it has only grown that now the basketball followers are calling it a rivalry between the two teams.

USA Today via Reuters

While Caitlin Clark clearly mentioned that it’s just a game for the players, some incidents have pointed toward the golden rookie being wrong. In the Sky’s first meeting of the season with the Fever on June 1 that saw Fever win 71-70 against the Sky, Chennedy Carter hip-checked the first overall pick. The foul call was later upgraded to flagrant-1. However, right after the incident, everyone saw Angel Reese jump and cheer her teammate for the action. The rookie also stood beside Carter in their media availability the following day.

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As for Angel Reese herself, she clotheslined Caitlin Clark during their second meeting, that Indiana won, again, 91-83. When the referee whistled her for that, she later suggested some people get a “special whistle.”  The 22-year-old also opined that her action was just a “basketball play”, while saying, “I can’t control the refs. They affected the game a lot tonight. I’m always going for the ball. But y’all going to play that clip 20 times before Monday.” Not just that, later Caitlin Clark also came forward to dismiss the incident as a normal occurrence. “It’s just part of basketball … Trying to make a play on the ball, get the block. I mean, it happens,” she said.

Fast forward to their third game, and fans were already hyping it up as a rivalry game. However, to their dismay, there was nothing of that sort during the meeting. Subsequently, Chicago took the victory, defending their home court. They also set a viewership record of over 3.3 million views. The ticket’s price was also one of the highest so far.

Now, the Sky and the Fever will go head-to-head once again after the Olympics break. For now, Indiana is leading their regular season series 2-1. As for Seattle, they have completed their season series with Chicago, reigning over them 2-1. Only time will tell how Angel Reese and the Sky work toward taking it all!

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Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the infamous Shaq-Kobe feud, Caitlin Clark’s Olympic snub, and more, watch this video.