Cameron Brink Sends Message on ‘Worst’ Caitlin Clark Narrative

Cameron Brink

Getty Sparks forward Cameron Brink at Michelob ULTRA Arena on May 18, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Los Angeles Sparks forward Cameron Brink, the 2024 No. 2 overall pick, is dealing with her own humbling moments while transitioning to the WNBA.

The 2024 WNBA draft class, led by No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark, helped thrust a spotlight on the league. However, Brink doesn’t believe the veterans have it out for the newcomers. Discussion over the physicality in the WNBA came to a head following Chicago Sky’s Chennedy Carter’s flagrant-1 violation on Clark.

“The most tired narrative is that the vets are against the rookies,” Brink told UPROXX’s Megan Armstrong. “This old-school versus new-school narrative — and the narrative that the rookies need to be perfect. I feel like Caitlin Clark has that the worst right now, but even I get that.”

Cameron Brink, Caitlin Clark

GettyFever’s Caitlin Clark (L) and Sparks’ Cameron Brink at Arena on May 24, 2024.

“She had three points the other night [against New York on June 2],” Brink continued. “I had three points the other night [against Indiana on May 28]. We’re expected to be perfect. We were drafted to high-drafting teams coming off of losing seasons, which is fine. It’s a learning process.

“But people expect us to be perfect, and it’s freaking exhausting. I feel like we learn how to tune it out, but still, it’s unrealistic, and it kind of just shows that people don’t know basketball.”

While the Fever stand at 2-9 on the season, the Sparks are 2-6. Brink, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaged 17.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, and 2.8 assists per game at Stanford last season. She shot 51.1% from the field and hit 30.4% on threes.

With the Sparks, Brink is averaging 8.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 47.2% from the field and 36.8% from deep. Brink’s block average, however, currently ranks third in the league.

Cameron Brink Is Grateful for Charter Flights Amid ‘Mental Fatigue’ Amid WNBA Transition

The reigning Naismith Defensive Player of the Year called “mental fatigue” the most difficult part of adjusting to the WNBA. Brink called Sparks head coach Curt Miller “amazing,” but noted that his style “is completely different than former Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer.

“It’s been great, honestly, for me to learn different things, but he just runs a completely different offense, so it’s relearning everything. And then, traveling cross-country, but I can’t even complain because now we have charter flights, so I’m very excited. It’s still an adjustment to travel across the country and be expected to get good sleep and be ready to perform every day. Back-to-back, even, sometimes.”

Brink, who grew up with Steph Curry as a mentor and god brother, knew her rookie year wasn’t going to be easy. She told Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek, “I believe in learning years, I believe in the power of growth and giving yourself grace.

“I’m going to work my hardest every single night to make sure we win and keep it really competitive, but this year is about growing and learning. I’m all about growing in every aspect of my game and my knowledge of basketball as both a player and a teammate.”

Cameron Brink Touched on the ‘Privilege’ of Being White & Feminine

Amid the ongoing discourse between Sky’s Angel Reese, Carter, and Clark, race became a big part of the conversation. While discussing Connecticut Suns’ Alyssa Thomas’ flagrant-2 foul on Reese, Veteran sportscaster Bob Costas called out the racial difference.

“Flagrant 2, ejected from the game,” Costas told CNN’s Abby D. Phillip and contributor Cari Champion on June 3. “The reason why that doesn’t spark as much conversation isn’t just that Caitlin Clark is a bigger star than Alyssa Thomas. It’s because it’s a black-on-black incident. And you don’t have that dynamic that people can, comment on, yes, but also exaggerate and make the entire story sometimes.”

Speaking to UPROXX, Brink touched on the topic. “I could go way deeper into this, but I would just say growing the fan base to support all types of players,” she said. “I will acknowledge there’s a privilege for the younger white players of the league. That’s not always true, but there is a privilege that we have inherently, and the privilege of appearing feminine.”

Beyond race, the 6-foot-4 forward wants more acceptance toward “masculine” players and diversity in the league. “I know I can feed into that because I like to dress femininely, but that’s just me. I want everyone to be accepted — not just paid attention to because of how they look.”