Rebecca Lobo Sets Record Straight on WNBA Players 'Targeting' Caitlin Clark Narrative

Rebecca Lobo is tired of the false narratives regarding the WNBA and its treatment towards Caitlin Clark. She says the Indiana Fever rookie is not being targeted by other players, it's just the physical nature of the league.
Former WNBA star and analyst Rebecca Lobo
Former WNBA star and analyst Rebecca Lobo / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Rebecca Lobo is tired of new WNBA fans creating false narratives about the league and its treatment of Caitlin Clark. In a recent appearance on ESPN's Get Up, the former All-Star and current analyst set the record straight.

Through the first month of the WNBA season, there's been a lot of discussion about the physicality within the league. Primarily, that conversation has centered around Clark, the No. 1 pick taken by the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Whether it's been on mainstream media or through social media, new viewers to the WNBA believe Clark has a "target" on her back because of her popularity. But Lobo shot that notion down immediately.

"For so long, when you're a woman in sports — especially one in the WNBA — trying to fight for attention, there's been within the league sort of an us against them mentality. Like, come watch us play, there's so much we have to offer," Lobo started.

"And then finally, these past couple years in the college game we've had those eyeballs. And now they're coming to the WNBA. Welcome, we're thrilled to have all these new people. But we don't want all of their other nonsense. Like, it was really frustrating the first couple of weeks listening to this narrative that people are targeting (Clark). No, it's not true.

"Those of us who have been in this game a long time and watching it know it's not true. So, we are thrilled to have the new fans watching the game. We want to welcome them. It's what we've been asking for. But the 144 women in this league and people who have been around it and covering it ... it's like, why do you gotta bring all the other stuff with it?"

New fans to the WNBA have griped about hard fouls against Clark through the first 11 games. Things reached a boiling point on Saturday, when Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter body-checked Clark before receiving an inbounds pass.

While that play was unacceptable, most of the physicality Clark has dealt with has been a staple of the league. Even New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart talk about the toughness within the WNBA.

"Really, to anybody, this is the best league in the world. Nobody's gonna give you anything easy," Stewart said. "Understanding that and learning how to play through it at this level. They're the fastest, the strongest, the quickest and that's why this is the WNBA.

"Continue to pay attention to what we do. Understand that we're trying to bring our best basketball when we're playing against other teams. We're obviously trying to win. But knowing as a collective we're continuing to bring this league to a better place altogether."

Has Clark taken some hard fouls in her transition to the WNBA? Absolutely. But such is life while making the shift from the college game to the professional ranks. It takes some time to adjust to the highest level.

To her credit, Clark has done some special things on the court. Through 11 games, she's averaging 15.6 points, 6.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. She earned the WNBA Rookie of the Month honor for May.

Clark has done some really good things in her first month as a pro. But she was never going to run the league from Day 1. Some fans are just now learning that lesson.


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Dustin Schutte

DUSTIN SCHUTTE