Leaving Caitlin Clark Off Team USA Roster Was the Right Move

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When the selectors who picked the roster for Team USA left Caitlin Clark off the team, they did her and the team a tremendous favor.

There’s some truth in there, but there are also some lies.

First, Caitlin Clark was not snubbed. Curt Schilling was snubbed. A snub occurs when a player has credentials and achievements so clearly and obviously worthy of inclusion that his/her rejection becomes an apparent travesty. Caitlin Clark is off to a fantastic start and has every chance of becoming one of the greatest players in WNBA history. But to act like — 12 games into her career — she has amassed the kind of status to be clearly and obviously better than the other guards on that team is insane.

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever handles the ball against Karlie Samuelson of the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024, in Washington, DC

Caitlin Clark, #22 of the Indiana Fever, handles the ball against Karlie Samuelson, #44 of the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024, in Washington, DC. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

Caitlin Clark is not the best player in the league; A’ja Wilson is. Yes, Caitlin Clark is the main reason people watch the WNBA. But, so what? The Olympics aren’t a business in the same way the NBA and WNBA are. How many strange sports do you discover at the Olympics every four years? Only to find out they’ve been there for decades? How has speedwalking survived this long? Because it’s so popular? The Olympics aren’t about “growing the sport.” Most of the sports they feature are barely watchable.

The Olympics are about putting the best team on the floor and winning.

Now, is Caitlin Clark good enough to be on this roster? Yes. But in what capacity? Breanna Stewart is averaging more points per game than she is and is a veteran player. Look at the other guards on the team: Sabrina Ionescu, Rhyne Howard, Diana Taurasi…Clark would have probably averaged 5-8 minutes per game on a team like that. Not nearly enough to sate the insatiable frenzy of media and fans who would have mobbed the games and ridiculed coaches for not getting her more playing time.

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever signs autographs after the game against the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024, in Washington, DC

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever signs autographs after the game against the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024, in Washington, DC (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

And what would have been the result of that?

The veteran-heavy team (nine of the 12 players have previous Olympic experience) would have resented Clark for the circus she brought with her, the questions they would have been constantly asked about her, the fans who only wanted to talk to her, and the storylines that would have focused on Clark instead of them as they dug their teeth into Olympic gold. In other words, it would have taken the envy that has already led to Clark getting viciously attacked on the floor in the WNBA, and put it on the international stage. And that ill will would have followed them back home to the WNBA, adding to an already toxic situation.

In fact, USA Today Sports’ Christine Brennan cited two “impeccable” sources who already claimed this was the case.

“Two other sources, both long-time U.S. basketball veterans with decades of experience in the women’s game, told USA TODAY Sports Friday that concern over how Clark’s millions of fans would react to what would likely be limited playing time on a stacked roster was a factor in the decision making,” Brennan reported. “If true, that would be an extraordinary admission of the tension that this multi-million-dollar sensation, who signs autographs for dozens of children before and after every game, has caused for the old guard of women’s basketball. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

The woke are trying to keep Caitlin Clark down, But not this time; they did her a favor this time.

Team USA celebrate with their Gold medals of a trophy after the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup final match between China and the USA at the Superdome on October 1, 2022, in Sydney

Team USA celebrates with their Gold medals a trophy after the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup final match between China and the USA at the Superdome on October 1, 2022, in Sydney. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

If they felt Caitlin Clark’s presence was necessary for winning their eighth consecutive gold, she would be on the roster. But she’s not. Why? Because she would have been the tenth or twelfth most important player on that roster yet would have received all the media attention.

How do you think that would have played in the locker room?

Caitlin Clark will represent this country many times before all is said and done and will, in all likelihood, continue the domination American women have wrought on the world. Just not this time, and that’s fine. It will all still be there for Caitlin Clark’s taking. Who says you have to conquer the world in a year?

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