One of the pitfalls of the massive surge in popularity of women’s basketball and the increased media attention is the increase in people who have no idea what the heck they’re talking about.
Now, I thought this type of statement would be about one of the usual culprits: the Skip Bayless, the Colin Cowherds, or maybe Stephen A. Smiths of the world. The talking heads who even though are undoubtedly great at their jobs and at getting attention, we know they can make some pretty outlandish, uninformed claims on television.
I didn’t think it would be coming from one of the greatest players in women’s basketball history.
So, Sheryl Swoopes—you know, former three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes—recently went on former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas’ podcast and, naturally, the topic of women’s basketball came up.
I actually agree with a good amount of points she’s making here. The WNBA is the best of the best for women’s basketball. The people that are still hating on it need to find jobs, because there is some absolute elite ballers there. The jump from the (sort of) amateur levels to the pros is gigantic in any sport, because every player in the league belongs.
While we may not necessarily agree on that point by Swoopes about Clark, the overarching point about the WNBA being stiffer competition is absolutely valid. That statement by Swoopes is not the problem. The problem is the misinformation spread about Clark in the podcast episode to discredit the Iowa point guard.
In the podcast, Swoopes talks about Clark rapidly approaching Kelsey Plum’s all-time NCAA women’s basketball scoring record and gets a whole lot wrong.
“If you’re going to break a record, to me, if it’s legitimate, you have to break that record in the same amount of time that that player set it. Right. So, if Kelsey Plum set that record in four years, well, Caitlin should have broken that record in four years,” Swoope said. “But because there’s a COVID year, and then there’s another year, you know what I mean? She’s already had an extra year to break that record. So is it truly a broken record?”
Don’t worry Ms. Swoopes. Since you don’t know the answer, and didn’t bother doing a quick Google search before going off on your tangent, I’ll provide the answer. Caitlin Clark only just turned 22, and she’s only in her fourth year at Iowa. That’s the same four years that were afforded to Kelsey Plum when she set the record.
What’s frustrating is not that Caitlin Clark is getting hate. The great players get hate because people are jealous. People have hated on LeBron James since he was in high school and they still do.
No, the problem is that the hate is always unchecked. It is based on misinformation and lies. They’ve run out of criticisms, run out of ways to hate, so they’ve made new ones up.
I guess when you’re hating on a player as good as Caitlin Clark is, you have to create your own imaginary straws to grasp at.
Social media wasn’t having it, making sure Swoopes and others know that this narrative is just flat-out wrong.