Caitlin Clark Opponent Diana Taurasi Claps Back at Fans Over Comments

Caitlin Clark

Getty Diana Taurasi gave a reality check on Caitlin Clark's first WNBA season.

As Caitlin Clark mania hits the WNBA, Phoenix Mercury veteran Diana Taurasi said “reality it coming” and addressed the fans who weren’t happy with that take.

“The new fans are really sensitive these days,” Taurasi told reporters on Sunday. “Like anything, greatness is going to translate and she’s proven that at every level.”

Clark, the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, has been a national sensation since 2023 amid her dominance in college. She became the all-time NCAA scoring leader for both women and men, and Clark led the Iowa Hawkeyes to a pair of Final Fours that drew record viewership.

Taurasi, a 20-year WNBA veteran, talked with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on April 6 about the challenge Clark will face going from college to the pros. The three-time WNBA champion didn’t win a title until her fourth season, for instance.

“Reality is coming. There are levels to this thing and that’s just life. We’ve all been through it,” Taurasi told Van Pelt, “You see it on the NBA side and you’re gonna see it on this side, where you look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you’re gonna come with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time.”

“Not saying [Clark’s skills] are not gonna translate, because when you’re great at what you do, you’re just gonna get better,” Taurasi continued. “But there is gonna be a transition period where you’re gonna have to give yourself some grace as a rookie.”

WNBA Fans Reacted to Diana Taursai Amid ‘The GOAT vs. The Rook’ Promotion

Fans stirred the pot on social media after the Mercury social media team posted about a June 30 home game versus the Fever on April 8 and billed it as “The GOAT vs. The Rook” game. That came a week before the Fever even drafted Clark.

Reaction from fans over Taurasi’s comment didn’t wait for Clark to become the top pick. Comments ranged from “Clark will cook her” to questioning if “Diana still plays basketball” with laughing emojis.

Diana Taursai Called ‘The GOAT’ by ESPN During WNBA’s 25th Anniversary

Taursai, 41, has a great and long career in her own right. Besides her three titles, she has two MVPs, 10 All-WNBA honors, 10 All-Star games appearances, and five scoring titles.

For her career, she averages 19.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Taursai’s numbers haven’t dipped significantly into her late 30s and early 40s either.

ESPN ranked Taurasi as the greatest WNBA player of all time in 2021 amid the league’s 25th anniversary. Former Fever star Tamika Catchings followed in second and former Houston Comets great Cynthia Cooper at third.

“Taurasi hasn’t won the most championships, and she hasn’t won the most MVPs. But it is her consistent offensive greatness and her longevity that set her apart from her peers,” ESPN’s Katie Barnes wrote. “Others have been ‘better’ over specific stretches or had stronger concentrations of dominance, but what makes Taurasi special is that she has been one of the top performers for a long time.”

Where Clark will fit into WNBA lore has a long way to go as she hasn’t played a game yet. Regardless of how far she ascends, entering the GOAT conversation will be challenging as it is all for all the greats in any sport.

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