WNBA's rise in attention has to do with Caitlin Clark, not Angel Reese, sportscaster Dan Patrick says

Radio host Dan Patrick appeared to take issue with Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese’s remarks about her role in helping make the WNBA popular when she spoke to the media Monday.

Reese said the rise in popularity for the league was not just because of one person, it was because of her and so many other great players before her. The former LSU standout said she would be happy to embrace the villain role if that is what it takes to help maintain that popularity.

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Patrick said he would have been fine with Reese leaving her comments at embracing the villain role, but the extra step was what he had a problem with.

“But her attention, her notoriety is based off Caitlin Clark because she wins the national title, the first thing she does is mock Caitlin Clark,” Patrick said on his radio show Tuesday. “And then, she doesn’t even celebrate with her teammates. So, she’s made it personal with Caitlin Clark. Then, she’s played off of that.

“Even Caitlin Clark getting knocked down in the game on Saturday. Who’s standing up applauding but Angel Reese. So, she’s sort of embraced a Draymond Green role here. But the eyeballs on the WNBA really have to do with Caitlin Clark. You might, if you stay long enough, might be able to see someone or something, and you go, ‘OK, I’m entertained by this.’ But there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you watch a sport because of one singular person.”

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Patrick pointed to golf and how fans tune in to watch Tiger Woods or sports fans might tune into the Stanley Cup Final to watch Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

CAITLIN CLARK ‘THE REASON’ FOR RISE IN INTEREST IN WNBA, BILLIE JEAN KING SAYS

“WNBA has been around a couple of decades and people didn’t notice the game – they’re noticing it now. Well, that’s because of Caitlin Clark, not Angel Reese,” he added. “Angel Reese has played a role in this and she’s a very good player. But there’s nothing about her game that’s really interesting that is going to translate to people who may not watch the WNBA, may not care about basketball. 

“She is a social media star, and she has capitalized on that, and maybe she embraces being the villain. But make no mistake about it, Caitlin Clark is the reason why everybody has an opinion on what happened in that game.”

The Indiana Fever’s Gainbridge Fieldhouse attendance has also seen a rise in its first five home games. The game against the Sky pushed the team’s total attendance to 82,857 for the year, according to the Indy Star.

The team had 81,336 fans in total in all of 20 home games in 2023.

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