Lebron James: “I’m rooting for Caitlin [Clark]”

WHN | May 22, 2024

LOS ANGELES – This season, the WNBA has seen unprecedented levels of growth and interest. The 2024 WNBA Draft class…

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LOS ANGELES – This season, the WNBA has seen unprecedented levels of growth and interest. The 2024 WNBA Draft class reached 2.45 million viewers on ESPN. A big reason for the increase in interest has been this years rookie class. Among the rookies is No. 1 pick Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark.

Clark gained popularity during her time playing at Iowa, breaking viewership and attendance records while earning herself many personal accolades.

The fan power of Clark has translated very well to the WNBA as her May 14 debut drew in 2.12 million viewers along with the sold out crowd of 8,910 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

20-time NBA All-Star and four time NBA Champion Lebron James revealed himself to be a believer in the ‘Caitlin Clark Effect’ on the recent episode of his “Mind the Game” podcast with JJ Reddick.

“The one thing that I love that she is bringing to her sport: more people want to watch, more people want to tune in,” James said on the podcast. “Don’t get it twisted, don’t get it f—ed up, Caitlin Clark is the reason why a lot of great things are going to happen for the WNBA.”

James, a fellow No. 1 pick, also shared some advice for the young Fever star as she gets acclimated to her transition to a professional league.

“My advice to Caitlin, and my advice to anyone that comes in with this level of notoriety, out-of-this-world expectation, whatever the case may be, be a horse, man,” James said. “Put your blinders on, go to work, show up to work, punch your clock in, prepare yourself, work on your game, work on your craft.”

James’ advice comes after the Fever’s latest loss on May 20. The loss puts them at 0-4, with Clark taking on a lot of the blame for the team’s poor performance.

Across the four games, Clark has averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. 

On the flip side, Clark has recorded 26 turnovers and broke the record fo4 most turnovers in a debut game with 10 turnovers on May 14 against the Connecticut Sun.

With fans and haters alike discussing Clark’s game, James advised her to focus on her game instead of giving in to any criticism.

“Kind of keep your mouth shut and just learn from the vets. When they ask, voice your opinion if they want your opinion early because everybody is looking for you to say anything and they’re gonna splice it and cut it and make it a negative thing.”

Amara Bullard is a Marketing + Media student at Loyola University in Chicago aspiring to work in basketball operations. 

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