Diana Taurasi and Caitlin Clark

Diana Taurasi and Caitlin Clark


Diana Taurasi and Caitlin Clark.

WNBA legend Diana Taurasi has made her opinion about Caitlin Clark’s 2024 Paris Olympics omission known. 

“The game of basketball is all about evolving,” Taurasi said of Clark in a June 10 USA Today article.  It’s all about getting comfortable with your surroundings. College basketball is much different than the WNBA than it is overseas.

“Each one almost is like a different dance you have to learn,” Taurasi continued. “And once you learn the steps and the rhythm and you have a skill set that is superior to everyone else, everything else will fall into place.”

The Athletic reported on June 7 that Clark is expected to be left off the 12-player Team USA women’s basketball roster for the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Team USA’s expected 12-person roster includes WNBA stars A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Brittney Griner, Alyssa Thomas, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Sabrina Ionescu, Chelsea Gray, Kahleah Copper, and Taurasi.

Taurasi, who is a five-time Olympic gold medalist, was seen by fans as a controversial selection; if only because Taurasi turns 42 years old on June 11, and Clark is having a better statistical 2024 season than her. 

There’s also the fact that Clark is a global superstar, and her appearance in Paris would have brought much attention to the 2024 Olympics games and Team USA in particular. 

Although Taurasi told USA Today that the attention women’s basketball is receiving now is, “culmination of so many things – social media, culture, women’s sports – the impact they’ve had in this country the last 4-5 years. 

“Sometimes you need all those ingredients in a perfect storm and that’s what we have right now. And it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Taurasi added. She didn’t mention Clark by name.

Diana Taurasi’s Past Criticism of Caitlin Clark

Taurasi made waves about critical comments she made regarding Clark on April 6. 

“Look, SVP, reality is coming,” Taurasi told SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt about Clark. “There’s levels to this thing. And that’s just life. We all went through it. You see it on the NBA side, and you’re going to see it on this side. You look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you’re going to [be playing against] some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time.”

“Not saying [Clark’s skills] are not gonna translate,” Taurasi added. “Because when you’re great at what you do, you’re just gonna get better. But there is gonna be a transition period where you’re gonna have to give yourself some grace as a rookie.” 

The Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury’s Next WNBA Matchup

Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever and Diana Taurasi’s Phoenix Mercury teams haven’t faced each other to this point in the 2024 WNBA regular season. 

But the two teams are slated to face off on Sunday, June 30. They will then play again on July 12 and August 16.

The Indiana Fever were defeated by the Connecticut Sun on June 10, 89-72. This defeat puts their record at 3-10 on the season. Taurasi’s Phoenix Mercury team will have a 6-6 record.

The WNBA will play its final game before the Olympic break on Wednesday, July 17. Its first game back will be Thursday, August 15.

Grant Young covers Major League Baseball, college basketball and the WNBA for Heavy.com. His sports coverage has also been featured at FanBuzz and NY Fights. More about Grant Young

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