WNBA Rookie Angel Reese: 'The Reason Why We're Watching Women's Basketball... It's Because Of Me Too'

Chicago Sky rookie forward Angel Reese is known for her rivalry with Indiana Fever first-overall pick Caitlin Clark, going back to when they competed in college for a national championship (2023). Certainly with all eyes on Clark being a transcendent generational women's basketball player, Reese wants the world to notice that she herself is also a very talented basketball player.

Reese talked about the rise in popularity regarding women's basketball, and she wants some of the credit.

"It all started from the national championship game," Reese pointed out. "I've been dealing with this for two years now. Understanding, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me, but honestly, I'll take that because look where women's basketball is. People are talking about women's basketball (those) you would never think would be talking about women's basketball."

With ticket and merchandise sales way up, Reese certainly is right about the WNBA's viewership being at an all-time high. That is to say, Reese just wishes people would acknowledge that she has something to do with the new found prevalence of woman's basketball, even if she has to play the bad girl role in comparison to the well-liked Clark.

"People are pulling up to games," Reese continued. "We got celebrities coming to games, sold out arenas, just because of one single game. And just look at that. I'll take that role. I'll take the bad guy role. And I'll continue to take that on and be that villain for my teammates. If I wanna be that, I know I'll go down in history. I'll look back in 20 years like the reason why we're watching women's basketball is not just because of one person. It's because of me too. I want y'all to realize that."

With Reese's point being made, many might argue that Clark is the full driving force behind the growing popularity, as many media members such as Charles Barkley and Pat McAfee have pointed out.

Saturday's matchup between Reese and Clark was the fourth-highest watched WNBA game in the last two decades with 1.53 million viewers on ESPN.

That is to say, the four most-watched games in the last 22 years of the WNBA have all featured Clark playing; the most viewed game was Clark's debut on May 14 vs. the Connecticut Sun (2.12 million views).

This isn't the only time that Reese has been outspoken about this issue, as last month the former NCAA champion posted a cryptic message on social media, which was later deleted.

"And that's on getting a WIN in a packed area not just cause of one player on our charter flight. #SKYTOWN."

So far throughout seven career games, Reese has averaged 10.6 points (35.3% FG), 8.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.0 blocks.

On the other hand, women's NCAA all-time points leader, Clark has played in 11 WNBA games, averaging 15.6 points (35.7% FG; 29.7% 3P), 5.1 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks.

Reese's teammate, Chennedy Carter has also taken shots at Clark on social media by hinting that the Indiana fever rookie is overrated.

"Besides three point shooting what does she bring to the table man," is what Carter tweeted after Clark's Indiana Fever beat the Sky 71-70.

In addition, Clark has reportedly been targeted by quite a few opponents on the court so far in her rookie season, such as when Carter was seen knocking her to the ground during their matchup.

What is Clark's response in all of this? To ignore the noise.

"I feel like I'm just at the point where you accept it and don't retaliate."