Legendary Coach Slams Hype Around Rising Star: “Delusional Fanbase” Harming WNBA

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Geno Auriemma Takes Aim at ‘Delusional Fanbase’ Impacting Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Performance

Legendary Coach Geno Auriemma, known for his outspoken nature and 1,200 career victories, has ignited a firestorm over rising WNBA star Caitlin Clark.

‘Targeted and Disrespected’: Auriemma’s Accusations

In a recent interview, Auriemma launched into a tirade against Clark’s “delusional fanbase,” accusing them of setting her up for failure by hyping her up excessively. He claims that she has become “disrespected” due to overblown expectations and that opponents are actively “targeting” her.

“There’s a huge target on this kid’s back,” Auriemma said. “She’s targeted by society, targeted by her looks, targeted by her reputation, targeted by the disrespect that they’ve shown to the WNBA.”

Handling the Rookie Challenges

Despite the criticism, Auriemma commended Clark for handling the challenges she faces as a rookie. He acknowledged that she is experiencing the inherent struggles that come with being new to the WNBA, but also suggested that she has a “top-notch skillset” that will ultimately benefit her.

“She’s handling it great,” Auriemma said. “She talks a lot of s–t, and she gets a lot of s–t back. She deserves everything she gets, because she gives it as good as she gets.”

Physicality vs. Skillset

However, Auriemma raised concerns about Clark’s physical limitations, asserting that she may not possess the strength and speed to compete effectively. He believes she will eventually adapt, but emphasized that she needs more experience and a more supportive team around her.

“She’s just not built for the physicality of this league, and she’s not quick enough to get away from the physicality,” Auriemma said. “But she has elite skills that are going to really help her.”

Middling Rookie Class

Auriemma also took the opportunity to dampen expectations for the 2024 WNBA rookie class, stating that it does not measure up to previous cohorts. He pointed to comments from Cameron Brink, another highly touted rookie this year.

“Cameron Brink said something really smart,” Auriemma said. “She said now they’re expecting this rookie class to be perfect. This rookie class isn’t even one of the best rookie classes in the last 10 years.”

Auriemma’s History with Clark

It’s notable that Auriemma, despite his current criticism, had not recruited Clark during her high school days. However, he has expressed admiration for her skills and achievements in the past.

“I thought she was the best female player in my lifetime,” Auriemma said of Clark before the Final Four matchup in April.

Despite the mixed commentary, there is no doubt that Caitlin Clark’s arrival in the WNBA has generated buzz and sparked important discussions about the league and its players. As she continues to navigate her rookie season, the spotlight will undoubtedly stay on her, along with the expectations and concerns that have emerged around her.

Data sourced from: foxnews.com