June 13, 2024

The biggest star the league has ever had was Caitlin Clark, who joined the league this season after the Indiana Fever selected her first overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft back in April. During her four years of excellence at Iowa, she had amassed a fan base that surpassed that of any American athlete.

It would seem reasonable that the WNBA, which has experienced low viewership since its founding in 1997, would take reasonable steps to ensure the success of the Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark without overtly favoring them. However, the timeline implies that they are actually setting up the Fever for failure, given its 2–9 start.

After winning on Saturday against the Chicago Sky, 71-70 to improve to 2-8, Caitlin Clark and the Fever took on the high-powered defending Eastern Conference champions, the New York Liberty. But, they looked completely exhausted as well as outmatched talent-wise en route to a humiliating 104-68 loss in a game that was never close.

It was the Fever’s eleventh game in 20 days since the season began, in addition to being their second straight game back-to-back. The defending champion Las Vegas Aces have only played six games during that period. It makes sense why the Fever appear lethargic in public!

It’ss especially weighing on Clark, who just finished off a grueling 39-game season with the Iowa Hawkeyes where she became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer. When you couple in an incredible amount of press she had to do in that time with a short ramp-up in preseason, and it’s no wonder her play is starting to suffer a little bit.

I understand that the WNBA wanted to take advantage of the huge popularity the Caitlin Clark and the women’s game had coming off the NCAA Tournament. But, the solution cannot be to have Clark and her teammates play more than any other team in the league when Clark probably needs the rest more than anyone.

 

 

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