Diana Taurasi speaks out on Caitlin Clark Olympics snub as backlash intensifies

Amid all the discussion about her exclusion from the U.S. women’s basketball Olympics squad, team selection Diana Taurasi, a critic of Clark in the past, believes the Indiana Fever rookie will be just fine.

“The game of basketball is all about evolving. It’s all about getting comfortable with your surroundings,” Taurasi recently told USA Today. “College basketball is much different than the WNBA than it is overseas. Each one almost is like a different dance you have to learn. And once you learn the steps and the rhythm and you have a skill set that is superior to everyone else, everything else will fall into place.”

Caitlin Clark is not on the U.S. Women's Olympic team's initial roster.
Caitlin Clark is not on the U.S. Women’s Olympic team’s initial roster.David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Clark being left off the roster has been a major talking point, with fans and critics alike arguing whether the U.S. team made a massive mistake.

The argument defending her exclusion involves her not being one of the best American players at the moment, and there are only so many spots available.

She will also have future teams to make being that she’s just 22 years old.

Arguing for Clark centers on the record viewers she beings to the sport and the potential to help grow women’s basketball on an international stage.

Her rabid fan base reportedly played a role in why she will not be on the team, with USA Today reporting that team officials worried how her fans would react to limited minutes.

Diana Taurasi has been critical of Clark in the past.
Diana Taurasi has been critical of Clark in the past.Getty Images
Taurasi, likely playing in her last Olympics at the age of 42, played on the 2004 team as a 22-year-old after graduating from UConn and noted the challenges it brought.

That gold medal-winning team featured legends such as Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie and Dawn Staley.

“I was the youngest on that team by far. Just amazing amazing veterans took me under their wing and really showed me the ropes,” Taurasi told USA Today.

“Talk about the Mount Rushmore of basketball, I was right there watching their every move. The way they prepared. How serious they took it. I had to learn the ropes too.”

It’s still possible Clark can make the cut, with the former Iowa star one of the top two alternates for the team, per The Athletic.

In the meantime, Clark will focus on helping the Fever right the ship amid a 3-10 start.

Clark told Fever coach Christie Sides that her exclusion “woke a monster,” but that monster was of the “Scooby-Doo” variety in her first game since the Olympics snub on Monday night.

Diana Taurasi bites a Gold medal during the 2020 Olympics.
Diana Taurasi bites a Gold medal during the 2020 Olympics.REUTERS
She finished with 10 points and air-balled a wide-open bunny in an 89-72 loss to the Sun.

Taurasi’s previous critical remarks on Clark included how she believed Clark would not take the league by storm, and how the veteran would rather have fellow UConn star Paige Bueckers on her roster.