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Women’s Basketball Could Become Major If It Wants To Be

Women’s Basketball is at a crossroads. It has one of the biggest superstars in sports currently while also having multiple players (former and current) and a section of fans diminishing her. Everyone knows who I’m talking about, which is Caitlin Clark. The Iowa superstar that broke the all-time Division 1 record for points scored, and has made the National Championship game twice in a row at Iowa.

Clark celebrating a victory over Ohio State
via Cliff Jette / Associated Press

I know that she lost both of those games, and sports are about winning. Let’s not forget that LeBron has been the face of the league for the better part of a decade and has more losses in the Finals than wins. That doesn’t change the fact that Clark is a superstar and is the main reason people are tuning into women’s college basketball and the WNBA when she gets drafted #1 overall tonight. I believe that’s most of what it comes down to. I would be oblivious to see race doesn’t play some factor into this. Angel Reese is similarly popular to Clark, but isn’t as good. Reese has got unfair hate and some racist vitriol that should never be accepted. I believe anyone with common sense would agree with me.

Angel Reese celebrating her National Championship Win
via Greg Nelson / Sports Illustrated

Basketball media in general is the worst of any sport. It's not based on fact, it is focused on narrative. Whatever gets the most clicks is what will succeed. It's sad because there is actual knowledgable basketball personalities that should be getting national media attention. Tim Legler and JJ Redick are some people that have cracked into the national media while keeping it about the game. This can't happen to the WNBA before it's even profitable. This has to be dealt with if they want to push the sport and league forward.

J.J Redick and Lebron James on their Mind The Game podcast
via Mind The Game / Youtube

Now that I’ve brought up Angel Reese, the most followed women’s college basketball player there is. Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have the chance to do what Bird and Magic did for the NBA when he was on the brink of futility. Sports are based off rivalries, and the rivalry doesn’t get better than Clark vs Reese these last couple years. The WNBA has to lean into this and use it to their advantage. They have to use the superstar name and image of these two women and use it as a positive for women’s basketball and get more people watching the WNBA. Which leads to more people paying attention to NCAAWB. Which leads to more revenue for everyone and more pay for the players. You get the point.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird
via ESPN Films

Everyone involved in women’s basketball needs to get on the same page and rally behind this draft class that is coming in tonight. This will probably be the most watched draft in WNBA history. The WNBA can’t squander this moment and the years to come with Clark and Reese. It’s a new generation of women’s basketball and these two could take it to the next level that it has long aspired to be at. Does the WNBA and the people that watch women’s basketball want to unite around these two ladies? Or do different swaths of people want to tear down both? The choice is theirs and I believe it’s a pretty obvious answer.

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark
via Sarah Stier / Getty Images North America

Clark and Reese will be drafted into the WNBA tonight at 7:30 PM EST. Clark is the presumptive #1 pick to the Indiana Fever.

2024 WNBA Draft draftees
via Sarah Stier / Getty Images

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