Magic Johnson On Caitlin Clark And Angel Reese Getting Compared larry-Bird: ‘I Like That, And They Are’

This year, the WNBA is experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity and is making significant progress in becoming a regular topic of conversation about sports in general—for better or worse, at times. Though Angel Reese and Cameron Brink, who also made their league debuts with great fanfare, are among this year’s rookie class, a lot of the talk revolves around Caitlin Clark’s popularity, as every move the star rookie of the Indiana Fever makes is closely watched and analyzed.

Since Reese’s LSU defeated Clark’s Iowa team for the national championship in 2023 and Clark’s Hawkeyes exacted revenge in the Elite Eight this year, the two have grown close to one another. Their rivalry dates back to their college days. As rookies, they now play in major games between the Chicago Sky and the Fever, and their rich history of NCAA Tournament matches allowed for the establishment of a WNBA rivalry.Some have drawn comparisons between it and the NBA’s inception with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, who elevated the league to unprecedented levels of prominence through their rivalry with the Lakers and Celtics, which began with a national championship game matchup while they were at Michigan State and Indiana State, respectively. After hearing the comparisons, Johnson himself told Jimmy Kimmel this past weekend that he agreed with the comparisons (4:30 in the video above), adding that while they’re instantly increasing the league’s popularity, they now need to prove themselves against the WNBA’s well-established stars.

Johnson told Kimmel, “We have to realize that Caitlin, Angel, and [Cameron] Brink, who plays for my Sparks, they improved the WNBA. “And these amazing women who have been in the league for a long time will put them to the test. Right now, Caitlin is the most well-liked WNBA player. In the same way that neither Larry nor I was the best NBA players when we first joined the team. We later rose to the top thanks to our play. To become the best WNBA player, Caitlin still needs to play at a high level.

 

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