Caitlin Clark recalls ‘frustrating’ media storm over 2023 national championship loss

May 12, 2024
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The 2023 women’s college basketball national championship saw LSU’s Angel Reese take down Iowa’s Caitlin Clark with the former giving the latter a taste of her own medicine.

Clark talked about the in-game rivalry between the two players and lamented that it became all anyone would talk about for days instead of the two lifting up the game. Clark’s comments were made on ESPN’s docuseries “Full Court Press.”

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Angel Reese points

LSU forward Angel Reese gestures to Iowa guard Caitlin Clark after the final round of the Women’s Final Four NCAA tournament at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on April 2, 2023. (Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports)

“That’s the only thing people wanted to talk about when we just went on this magical run and united so many people, and that, like, was frustrating to me,” Clark said in one episode, via The Daily Mail.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder also hit out at the media for trying to “create a circus out of racial things.”

Clark and Reese both insisted at the time, and during the 2023-24 season, there was no animosity between them.

CAITLIN CLARK ATTENDS PACERS-KNICKS PLAYOFF GAME WITH FEVER TEAMMATES IN SUITE

Caitlin Clark stepback

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever handles the ball during the Atlanta Dream game on May 9, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

“Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super competitive game,” Reese said before the two met in the Elite Eight back in April. “Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends. I have plenty of friends on the court that I talk to outside of the game, but like when I get between those lines, we’re not friends. We’re not buddies. 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.”

Clark added that they both shared the same “competitive fire.”

“Me and Angel have always been great competitors,” she said. “Obviously, she played in the Big Ten for a while to begin her career, and that’s what makes women’s basketball so fun is you have great competition, and that’s what we’ve had all year long. I think Angel would say the same.”

Angel Reese goes full John Cena

Angel Reese of LSU Lady reacts toward Iowa’s Caitlin Clark during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 2, 2023, in Dallas. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Also in the documentary, Clark talked about the “hardest part” about being her.

“The hardest part about being Caitlin Clark? I’d say is having to feel like you’re always on,” she said, via the New York Post. “You just have bad days, and there are days where you don’t want to talk to anyone.

“But somebody comes up to you, and this is their 10-second interaction with you. So you better smile and be kind. But at the same time, it’s just like, you just want to be normal sometimes.”

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Now, Clark and Reese are both preparing to make their WNBA regular-season debuts. Clark was the No. 1 overall pick of the Indiana Fever while Reese was selected by the Chicago Sky a little later in the first round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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