Angel Reese explains her WNBA ‘bad guy’ label and opens up on Caitlin Clark rivalry

  • READ MORE: The View star Whoopi Goldberg defends Carter’s hard foul on Clark
  • READ MORE: Pat McAfee issues groveling apology after calling Clark a ‘b***’ 

Angel Reese has explained why she will continue to be the WNBA’s ‘bad guy’ as she opens up on her rivalry with Caitlin Clark and that Chennedy Carter bodycheck on the Indiana Fever star. 

Speaking ahead of the Chicago Sky’s game against the New York Liberty on Tuesday, and barely 24 hours after the WNBA upgraded Carter’s foul on Clark to a flagrant-one violation, Reese believes people hold a grudge against her since her college days at LSU, where she became an NCAA Champion in 2023 at Clark’s expense.

The Tigers defeated Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes, 102-85, in the title game that year. 

‘It all started from the National Championship game. I’ve been dealing this with two years now,’ Reese, 22, said of her unpopularity with fans, compared to Clark’s. ‘And understanding that, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me but honestly, I’ll take that.

‘Because look where women’s basketball is. People are talking about women’s basketball that you never would think would be.’

Carter bodychecked Clark in the Sky's 71-70 win, prompting backlash on social media

Angel Reese defended her teammate Chennedy Carter’s flagrant-one foul on Caitlin Clark from Saturday’s Sky-Fever game as she opened up about her popularity in the WNBA

‘People are pulling up to games, we have celebrities coming to games, sold out arenas. Just because of one single game. And just looking at that – I’ll take that role. I’ll take the bad guy role and I’ll continue to take that on. And be that for my teammates.’

She added: ‘I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like: ”yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball isn’t just because of one person. It’s because of me, too” and I want you to realize that… a lot of us having done so much for this game… 

‘There are so many great players in this league that have deserved this for a really long time and luckily it’s coming now.’

The power forward, who’s averaging 10.6 points per game this season, also believes the hard foul that Clark experienced in Chicago’s narrow win against Indiana on Sat. was a normal dose of physicality between opponents in the WNBA, as she defended Carter.

Reese has faced criticism for her on-court celebrations since LSU defeated Iowa two years ago

Reese has faced criticism for her on-court celebrations since LSU defeated Iowa two years ago

Reese – the seventh overall pick of the 20242 WNBA Draft- faced backlash on social media for celebrating her teammate’s physical play on Clark and was fined $1,000 for failing to make herself available to media after this past weekend’s high-profile game.

‘Me and Chennedy are super competitive,’ Reese said after telling reporters that she has her teammate’s back. ‘Just having that competitive edge. I love my teammates and I’ll always going to have their back. So, it was just competition. 

‘That fuels our fire, that’s how me and Chennedy were brought up… we go off energy. 

We’re just super competitive every single day so hopefully that translates to the WNBA.’