Caitlin Clark responds to ‘narratives around attention’ with 1st WNBA win; LeBron James weighs in on why she's an asset - Hindustan Times
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Caitlin Clark responds to ‘narratives around attention’ with 1st WNBA win; LeBron James weighs in on why she's an asset

May 25, 2024 06:01 PM IST

Caitlin Clark's career-high rebounds bolster Indiana Fever's first victory after a disappointing dry spell of 5 consecutive losses.

Six games down her WNBA career, the rookie sensation and her team finally did it! Caitlin Clark led Indiana Fever to its first victory of the season, beating Los Angeles 78-73 on Friday, May 24, after being disappointed shut out for five consecutive games. The crowd was also significantly on Indiana's side, with several A-list Hollywood names cheering Clark.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 24: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever reacts at the end of the game after a 78-73 win over the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena on May 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.(Getty Images via AFP)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 24: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever reacts at the end of the game after a 78-73 win over the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena on May 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.(Getty Images via AFP)

With eight assists in the bag and a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, Clark bolstered her squad's triumph, but not without key players who went to great lengths to guarantee that win. Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever's opening victory with 18 points, with Aliyah Boston and Temi Fagbenle's 17 each tally.

However, ahead of the game at Crypto.com Arena, questions about “narratives around the attention” plagued her big time. Other queries centred around her stance “versus some of the vets that have been in this league for a long time” further built up the pressure.

Here's how she responded to the noise.

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Caitlin Clark on playing in the big league and the raging popularity contest around her name

According to Deadline, the year's No. 1 WNBA Draft came clean about her “main focus.” Responding to the questions pitted against her, Clark said, “To be honest, I'm not really on social media. I don't read that… This is my job. My job is to compete and play basketball every single day.”

Without letting online conversations about her bring her parade down, she addressed how the booming interest on the women's side of the sport was beneficially helping them all collectively. She said, “I think the more attention we can get on every team around this league, that's only going to help me get better and better.”

Expanding on her role in the team, she added, “My job is just to continue to show up and help this team get better. We're fighting for our first win. That's my main focus.”

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Lakers star LeBron James also nodded along to the sentiment, “People need to realize, the Indiana Fever — this is the second year in a row they had the No. 1 pick. Do y’all know what that means? That means they’re not that good.” Asserting that he was rooting for Caitlin and Aliyah Boston, he hoped they would do great.

Elaborating on why he particularly appreciated Clark, he said, “The one thing that I love that she’s bringing to her sport — more people want to watch. More people want to tune in. I saw, for the first time, they had a chartered plane. For the first time in their league history, they flew private. That should be celebrated in its own right.”

After the final buzzer, Clark's mood was evidently through the roof. According to the Canadian Press, the Iowa star expressed how the Fever's latest triumph reminded her why she loved playing the game and why she “started playing basketball”: "You get a win and you walk off the floor and there’s so many young kids just screaming your name and love getting to watch you.”

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