Angel Reese Feels WNBA Is Not Only Popular Now Because of Caitlin Clark: ‘It’s Because of Me, Too’

Angel Reese believes that Caitlin Clark is not the sole reason for the recent surge in the WNBA’s popularity. Look, she’s outspoken. We get it. But maybe she has a point.

“I think so many people are watching women’s basketball right now,” the Chicago Sky star told WGN News after practice Monday. “It all started from the national championship game, and I’ve been dealing with this for two years now, and understand that, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me. But honestly, I’ll take that because look where women’s basketball is.”

Reese, 22, noted that the league is attracting attention these days. “People are pulling up to games. We’ve got celebrities coming to games [and] sold-out arenas just because of one single game,” she said, referring to the 2023 NCAA women’s title game, where her LSU Tigers defeated Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes.


Get this: Reese is willing to embrace the “bad guy role” if it helps the WNBA grow. “I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like, ‘Yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person. It’s because of me, too.’ And I want you to realize that. Like, it’s just not ’cause of one person. A lot of us have done so much for this game.”

Clark, also 22, is credited a lot by a lot of media pundits with elevating women’s professional basketball. Charles Barkley recently praised her, saying WNBA players should be grateful for her contributions. “All the money and visibility she’s bringing to the WNBA, what she’s accomplished, give her her flowers,” the 11-time NBA All-Star said. “Stop being petty, all you women out there. … Caitlin Clark, thank you for bringing all that money and shine to the WNBA.” LeBron James, the arguable NBA GOAT, supported Clark, saying, “I’m rooting for Caitlin because I’ve been in that seat before. I’ve walked that road before. I hope she kills!” he said on his “Mind the Game” podcast on May 23.

Reese addressed her relationship with Clark in March. She emphasized it is not personal. “Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super-competitive game,” she told reporters. “Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends. I’m going to talk trash to you. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get in your head the whole entire game, but after the game, we can kick it. I don’t think people really realize that.”