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Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark's Comments After Latest Heated Battle Couldn't Be More Different

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In any good narrative, tension between a gracious winner and a sore loser can carry a story only so far. Eventually, the sore loser needs either a comeuppance, a plot twist or a redemption arc to avoid growing tiresome.

The ongoing rivalry between rookie guard Caitlin Clark of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and rookie forward Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky, which dates to their college days, will soon grow tiresome if, while Clark maintains her present gracious posture, Reese continues to devolve into a caricature of self-pity who hilariously fancies herself both villain and victim.

On Sunday, Clark’s Indiana Fever defeated Reese’s Chicago Sky, 91-83, in a game that featured a hard foul by Reese on Clark.

At a press conference after the game, Reese blamed the referees and implied that Clark receives preferential treatment.

“I think we went up really strong a lot of times, and we didn’t get a lot of calls,” she said of her Sky teammates. “And going back and looking at the film, I’ve seen a lot of calls that weren’t made.”

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Then came the veiled shot at Clark.

“I guess some people got a special whistle,” the rookie forward said as she oozed sour grapes.

Remarkably, Reese then suggested a kind of anti-Sky conspiracy even among media members.

Are you a fan of Caitlin Clark?

“That’s something y’all not gonna be able to stop,” she said of her and her teammates playing hard. “Regardless of the referees, like, we’re here for a while. We’re not gonna be denied — no matter what you guys can try to do.”

Reese’s relevant comments began around the 1:30 mark of the video below.

Meanwhile, Clark had a very different-sounding press conference. In fact, when asked about Reese, Clark said nothing that would suggest a bitter rivalry between the two.

“I think what she’s done with her platform has been absolutely incredible,” Clark said of Reese in a clip of the press conference posted to the social media platform X.

“She has an entire fan base that has supported her and what she did at Maryland and then LSU. Obviously, I’ve played her for a very long time, and she’s been a tremendous player,” Clark added.

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The Fever rookie even credited Reese with helping to generate interest in the long-floundering WNBA.

“It’s been fun getting to compete again. I think it’s been really good for the game. And people just love seeing great match-ups,” Clark said.

And when people tune in for those match-ups, “they get to see how amazing these teams are. And then they find new players to support and continue to come back for them, too.”

In other words, a rising tide lifts all boats.

The Clark-Reese rivalry, of course, began with the 2023 NCAA championship game, won by Reese’s LSU Tigers, 102-85, over Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes. Clark and Iowa got a measure of revenge with a 94-87 win that knocked Reese’s Tigers out of the 2024 tournament.

Since then, Clark has endured a rocky start to her rookie season as the first overall pick in the WNBA draft. She currently ranks a respectable 17th in the league in scoring at 16.1 points per game. Her 6.2 assists per game rank an even more respectable 4th overall. But she also leads the league by a wide margin with 5.5 turnovers per game.

As any basketball fan will attest, those numbers show that Clark often has the ball in her hands, which means that she gets as much attention on the court as off it. And not all of that attention has been good.

In a June 1 match-up with the Sky, for instance, Chicago forward Chennedy Carter delivered a cheap shot that knocked Clark to the ground. It bore no resemblance to an ordinary, competitive, basketball play. But Reese applauded her teammate nonetheless.

That play in particular, and WNBA players’ reactions to Clark’s massive popularity in general, have triggered predictable conversations about race — speaking of tiresome. In fact, the usual suspects cannot stop talking about skin color.

But the rivalry between Reese, who is black, and Clark, who is white, has a far deeper dynamic.

Whereas Clark sounded gracious in her comments toward Reese, credited the Sky forward with helping to spark interest in the league and even noted that their ongoing rivalry would help boost the popularity of other deserving WNBA players, Reese sounded bitter as she wallowed in self-pity and blamed everyone else, including referees and media.

And it was not the first time. In fact, at a press conference following LSU’s loss to Iowa in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, Reese endured some criticism for posing as a basketball “villain” while at the same time becoming visibly emotional as she talked about herself and everything she allegedly has endured since her rivalry with Clark first captured the public’s interest.

Before long, therefore, Reese will have to change the narrative. Otherwise, if she continues down the path of bitterness and self-pity, her act will soon grow tiresome.


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Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.
Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.




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