“That’s just not a basketball play,” Caitlin Clark said of the cheap shot she took from Chicago Sky’s Chennedy Carter during the third quarter of their game Saturday.

After the Sky made a basket, Carter hip-checked Clark as she crumpled to the floor. The referees determined the act to be a common foul in the game, but the WNBA upgraded the contact to a flagrant foul. To fuel the fire, during a T.V. timeout, fellow rookie and former college rival Angel Reese looked delighted by the contact and hugged Carter as she walked to the bench. Clark may have lost the battle but won the war, as the Fever emerged victorious 71-70.

The postgame press conference led to more controversy, with Carter ignoring to answer questions on the play and Reese refusing to talk to the media altogether, resulting in a $1,000 fine. When Clark spoke to the press, she downplayed the drama, saying, ‘”I’ve gotta play through it; that’s what basketball is about at this level.”

Carter’s foul play was the crescendo of a difficult first few weeks in the WNBA for Clark. The #1 pick and Iowa star has received a cold welcome from other teams with cheap shots and physicality coming her way on a nightly basis. Some fans argue that the other players are jealous of Clark for her fame and are committing these hostile acts out of jealousy. Others say that the professionals are more physical than college and that the NCAA all-time leading scorer needs to adjust to the differing play styles.

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While fan support and viewership for the WNBA are at an all-time high, Clark’s play has been underwhelming since the start of the season. She has shot 29% from three and averaged only 15.6 points per game as the Fever continues to struggle with a 2-9 record in 11 games.

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