WNBA: Caitlin Clark not interested in ‘grudges,’ social media controversies

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Caitlin Clark said Chennedy Carter does not owe her an apology for shoulder-checking her to the ground during a game last week.

The Indiana Fever star and WNBA No. 1 overall pick was at the center of a days-long controversy that played out on social media after Carter of the Chicago Sky hit Clark from behind before an inbounds play Saturday. The officials ruled it a common foul and the league upgraded it to a flagrant-1 the next day.

After Indiana beat Chicago 71-70, Carter refused to answer questions at the postgame news conference about the hit or the trash talk from Clark that led up to it — only to head to social media to stir the pot. Carter liked posts saying that she should hit Clark again and wondered aloud what Clark’s skills were besides her 3-point shot.

Clark has stayed out of the fray as some on social media rushed to her defense and others took Carter’s side.

The all-time leading scorer in college basketball history (men or women) was asked for her thoughts Friday before the Fever faced the host Washington Mystics.

“That’s just not where my focus is. That’s not what I think about on a day-to-day basis,” Clark said. “I think about my team. I think about ways I can get better. It’s just basketball at the end of the day. There’s no grudges, there’s nothing like that.

“It’s a sport, it’s competitive. It’s not going to be nice all the time; that’s not what basketball is. And I think that people that play at the highest level understand that.”

Clark said there was no need for her opponent to apologize and also offered praise for Carter, who is averaging 13.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists off the bench in nine games for Chicago.

“Basketball’s competitive. I get it,” Clark said. “Sometimes your emotions get the best of you — it happened to me multiple times throughout the course of my career. People are competitive.

“(Carter is) having a tremendous season. She’s played great basketball — in my eyes, probably in first place for Sixth Player of the Year. She’s been great off the bench for them. She had 25 (points) here last night and really helped them win the game.”

Clark has averaged 15.6 points, 6.4 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 11 games (all starts) to begin her rookie season in the WNBA.

–Field Level Media

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