Caitlin Clark in uniform. Stephen. Smith and Shannon Sharpe on First Take

Caitlin Clark Stephen. Smith Shannon Sharpe (Photo via Getty Images and First Take/YouTube)
We are some 24 hours away from the release of Team USA’s roster, and we already know that Caitlin Clark will not be on it.

Just about every basketball pundit in the world has issued their stance on this controversial decision, and First Take was up next.

Stephen A. Smith roasted Team USA for not including Caitlin Clark on their 2024 Olympics roster.

After Shannon Sharpe, Chiney Ogwumike, and Andraya Carter offered their opinions on the matter, Smith joined the discussion with a fiery response. The ESPN personality took USA Basketball to task for failing to take into account the benefits of having Caitlin Clark on its roster.

“I am telling you right now you are going to be underpaid for the rest of what I believe will be an illustrious career unless you get your mind right about that marketing. It matters,” Smith told the women.

“I hear you, Stephen A. But I will not sacrifice my basketball knowledge and my integrity in terms of the game for marketing. My marketing is doing just fine,” Carter responded.

Some believe that USA Basketball’s purpose of expanding the game is at odds with its decision to exclude Clark, who is guaranteed to enhance ratings just as she did in college and is currently doing in the WNBA. Some have defended the decision for various reasons, claiming that the team only gave winning teams more priority than popular teams while assembling their rosters.

Even though Clark would probably not get much playing time in the Olympics because of the many veterans on the team, Smith and Sharpe insisted that her popularity for just being there was more than sufficient justification for having her on the squad. Not to mention, Clark getting a gold medal would work out for everyone.

Caitlin Clark Responds to Being Left Off Team USA’s Olympic Roster

Caitlin Clark (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Clark confirmed that she was left off of Team USA’s Olympic roster, calling the snub a “little more motivation” to make it in the future.

“I think it just gives you something to work for,” Clark told reporters via CNN. “It’s a dream. Hopefully, one day, I can be there. I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that. Hopefully, when four years comes back around, I can be there.”

The No. 1 WNBA draft pick added that she was not disappointed by the news and was excited about the women who would represent the country.

“I’m excited for the girls that are on the team. I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way of me being on the team, me not being on the team,” Clark said Sunday. “So you know, I’m excited for them. I’m going to be rooting them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics, so yeah, it’ll be fun to watch them.”