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Caitlin Clark hard foul was ‘welcome to the league’ moment, NBA commissioner says

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Adam Silver was asked about the Caitlin Clark foul in his pre-NBA Finals press conference on Thursday before the Boston Celtics hosted the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1.

Clark was hip-checked by Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter on Saturday, which set off a firestorm throughout the week about the treatment of the Indiana Fever rookie. 

Silver said he didn’t want to get into the nitty-gritty about the call, leaving that to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

“As a fan, obviously, it’s nothing new in basketball that there’s sort of ‘welcome to the league’ moments, especially for heralded rookies,” Silver said, per Forbes Sports. “But of course, I want to see Caitlin treated fairly and appropriately in the league.”

“It seems like she could take care of herself. She’s a tough player. I think it might be lost on some people who are new to basketball in terms of the controversy in the WNBA what an incredible talent she is: two Final Fours, leading scorer in the history of college basketball. I look forward to watching her ongoing development in the league.”


Adam Silver talks to reporters

“I think, ultimately, this is very healthy for women’s basketball and the WNBA. It’s generated tremendous additional interest. In fairness to the other players and in fairness to Commissioner Engelbert, it didn’t just start this year. Certainly, we’re seeing an acceleration of it with Caitlin but many individual stars who came in this league in the last several years …”

Silver added that rivalries among clubs and players are “ultimately, good for the sport.”

“At the same time, there’s also some larger societal issues at work, no doubt. I don’t want to hide from that. Some having to do with race, and they’re very apparent. I think, though, sports, historically, has been a platform for people to directly talk about these issues. I don’t think we should hide from them. I think the players are happy to engage on these issues.”

Caitlin Clark looks on

Carter’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant-1. Clark was OK but struggled in her game Sunday against the New York Liberty.

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