5-time NBA champ finds bright side to Caitlin Clark’s exclusion from Team USA

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Former Chicago Bulls guard Ron Harper put a positive spin on the fact that Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark was left off Team USA’s roster for the upcoming 2024 Olympics.

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum and Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi are among the 12 players selected to represent the country.

Clark has been in some drama recently, as she got floored by Chicago Sky player Chennedy Carter in a game the Fever won by one point back on June 1. Carter was handed a flagrant foul for bumping Clark, and the latter spoke out about the incident after the game.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Clark said. “But it’s just like, ‘Respond, calm down and let your play do the talking.’ It is what it is. … Go make the free throw and then execute on offense.”

The 22-year-old hasn’t shot the ball with great efficiency from the floor thus far in her maiden season in the pros. She is shooting just 37.3 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from 3-point range across 12 games with the Fever in the 2024 season.

However, Clark put together arguably her most impressive scoring performance of the season in the Fever’s most recent game against the Washington Mystics on June 7. In just under 39 minutes of action, she dropped a whopping 30 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor and 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

Thanks in large to Clark’s fantastic scoring display, the Fever beat the Mystics — who have yet to win a game this season — by a final score of 85-83 to improve their record to 3-9 on the season. Indiana’s victory over Washington marked the team’s second win in its last three games after it started out the campaign by winning just one of its first nine contests.

Clark will attempt to replicate her offensive production from her game against the Mystics when the Fever take on a formidable Connecticut Sun team on June 10.

The Sun own the best record in the league to this point at 9-1 and became just the seventh WNBA squad in league history to start a season 9-0, but the team lost its most recent game to the Liberty by seven points on Saturday.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.