Caitlin Clark Reacts to Being Left Off Olympic Team
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JUNE 01: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever dribbles against Michaela Onyenwere #12 of the Chicago Sky during the third quarter in the game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on June 01, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark was all class when she reacted to being left off the roster for Team USA this summer at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

In a clip posted on X, the WNBA rookie was asked by reporters about not making the team and the level of disappointment she had about it. Clark responded that she had none and only wished those who made the cut the best of luck.

“Honestly, no disappointment. I think it just gives you something to work for,” Clark told the press. “That’s a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that and hopefully, when four years comes back around, I can be there.”

“I’m excited for the girls that are on the team,” she added. “I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way — me being on the team or me not being on the team.”

“I’m going to be rooting them on to win gold,” Clark continued. “I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics, so it will be fun to watch them.”

Fever coach Christie Sides told reporters that when the 2024 WNBA drafted guard learned the news that she wasn’t on the team, she said Clark told her, “[T]hey woke a monster,” Newsweek noted.

“The thing she said was, ‘Hey, Coach, they woke a monster,’ which I thought was awesome,” Sides said. “She’s young, she’s going to have so many opportunities in the future.”

Not everyone was as gracious as Clark about the snub. Sports broadcaster Stephen A. Smith slammed the move and said it was a case of “idiocy.”

“This is about what I will personally label ‘The Idiocy of Team USA Women’s Basketball.’ How dare you make this decision,” Smith said. “It’s stupid. I want all the ladies on this squad to know every single one of y’all deserve it. Caitlin Clark does not deserve a spot ahead of any of the players on this roster — if we’re talking just basketball. You know we’re not.”

“It was a stupid decision,” he added. “Because it compromises what your ultimate goal is, which is to elevate the WNBA brand. How could you be that idiotic and not make that call, when throughout history, Team USA has been, in part, about marketing? It’s dumb, period.”

Barstool’s Dave Portnoy went viral when he posted about the move, calling it dumb and more.

“Hey dummies, for the first time in the history of basketball you have arguably a player who is the most popular player in the world,” Portnoy said in a clip posted on X. “And you leave her off the Olympics team?”

“It’s not only a showcase for her. It’s for the sport and the other WNBA players who are on this team. How dumb, how braindead, how idiotic do the people running this thing have to be?” he added. 

Clark could still make an appearance at the Olympics if a player gets injured resulting in an alternate making the team. However, in the past, alternates have never been announced, so there’s no indication of whether she’d make that short list, ESPN noted.

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