WNBA must harness star energy of Caitlin Clark, says former USMNT star Alexi Lalas

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Former U.S. males’s soccer star Alexi Lalas isn’t one to seek out himself watching skilled basketball at any stage – not to mention the WNBA. 

However he says that’s what Caitlin Clark is doing for the league: getting the eye of those that wouldn’t usually watch a random regular-season sport in the course of Might or in early June.

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Alexi Lalas (Frederic J. Brown/AFP through Getty Photographs/File)

Clark’s star energy is respiratory new life into the league prefer it by no means has earlier than. Lalas informed Fox Information Digital in a current interview that it’s one thing the WNBA has to harness as a substitute of some gamers turning it into “resentment,” which has been on full show in current video games.

“I feel there’s a actual human aspect to the response that we’re seeing, and possibly it manifests much more so in sports activities in that, you recognize, there’s the identical pettiness and [jealousy] and resentment that we’ve got in actual life; that may definitely occur in sports activities,” Lalas stated. “I feel that you need to have a perspective and a maturity to take a look at this case and acknowledge that whereas you will have been working you’re a– off earlier than, and also you might need the sensation that she is simply coming in and hasn’t ‘paid her dues’ or something like that … I don’t watch basketball, and I positive as hell don’t watch WNBA, and but I’m now discovering myself tuning in. That’s the energy of the stardom that’s Caitlin Clark.”

“And never all people’s going to remain, together with me, this can die down. However in the end, in case you are left with extra those that got here into the tent, I feel from a soccer perspective, we speak about this on a regular basis … the very last thing we wish to do is be exclusionary when it comes to that tent.”

Caitlin Clark signs autographs

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever indicators autographs for followers after the sport in opposition to the Chicago Sky on June 1, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE through Getty Photographs)

BOB COSTAS TALKS CAITLIN CLARK, ANGEL REESE AND RACE IN THE WNBA

Lalas stated that even together with his immense soccer background, followers, execs and media alike generally tend to “eat our personal.” However when the potential of welcoming new followers into the neighborhood rises, solely good can come of it if it’s dealt with the suitable method.

“The potential exists for extra folks to come back into the tent,” stated Lalas, who spoke to Fox Information Digital as a part of FOX Sports activities’ Summer time of Soccer preview of Copa América and UEFA Euro. “And whereas lots of them will depart, a few of them will keep. And so, every second, should you use it appropriately, and you’ve got a maturity to acknowledge and harness that second, you’re doing factor for the sport each on and off the sector. 

“And WNBA, I feel that this can be a second that they hopefully can acknowledge is a good alternative to carry folks into the tent that, let’s be sincere, haven’t been there earlier than and, with out Caitlin Clark, usually are not there.”

Clark was on the receiving finish of a tough foul from Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter throughout Saturday’s sport. The foul was later upgraded to a flagrant-1 violation. Clark then had a troublesome sport in opposition to the New York Liberty.

Caitlin Clark dribbles around a player

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever drives to the basket through the sport in opposition to the Liberty in New York Metropolis on June 2, 2024. (Catalina Fragoso/NBAE through Getty Photographs)

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The Indiana Fever play the Washington Mystics on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

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