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Mercury tease Diana Taurasi vs. Caitlin Clark WNBA battle amid backlash

This potential Mercury-Fever showdown of GOAT vs potential GOAT will fuel basketball fans’ fires.

The Phoenix Mercury are coming off a disappointing 2023-24 season. Nevertheless, the franchise is looking forward to bouncing back under the longtime leadership of WNBA legend Diana Taurasi. Taurasi has taken heat for her opinions on Iowa women’s basketball star Caitlin Clark, but that has not stopped her team from marketing an exciting showdown against the Indiana Fever in 2024.

Phoenix is reportedly already selling tickets for the team’s June 30th matchup against Indiana, per Darren Rovell. In addition, the team released a graphic reading “The GOAT vs. The Rook,” foreshadowing Diana Taurasi’s matchup with Caitlin Clark.

Clark has not been drafted by the Fever yet, but she is the overwhelming favorite for the 2024 first pick, which Indiana possesses. A Taurasi-Clark battle would surely fire basketball fans up. However, many were not pleased with one of Taurasi’s takes on Clark.

The veteran guard suggested that the reason Clark looked “superhuman” at Iowa was because she faced college players and not WNBA players, as recalled by Men’s Journal. There could be truth to Taurasi’s statement, but some took it as a downplay on Clark.

Ironically, Clark eclipsed Taurasi’s three-point NCAA Tournament record after she shot 9-20 in Iowa’s Elite 8 victory over LSU. The star guard is surely an elite talent, who barring anything extreme happening, should see success in the WNBA.

Regardless of the backlash Taurasi is facing, she likely looks forward to facing Clark in future professional battles.

It makes sense for the renowned women’s basketball GOAT to root for someone who further elevates the sport and has the potential to become the GOAT herself. Taurasi is not the only one providing sentiment to Clark amid her major basketball buzz.

Caitlin Clark’s potential Mercury matchup should see unwavering support

Other analysts, players, and fans have criticized Clark amid her basketball hype. However, golf influencer Paige Spiranac detested unnecessary hate for the star guard.

“The hate towards Caitlin Clark from current and former players is disappointing but not surprising. Women can be absolutely vicious to other women while also preaching empowering the next generation. I’ve seen it firsthand but we must remember a rising tide lifts all boats,” Spiranac stated.

It is great that Spiranac is a “rising tide” for Clark, but at the end of the day, people will continue to voice their opinions, even the not-so-nice ones. There is one way Clark can shut things down: by continuing to win.

The Iowa women’s basketball star has not started her professional career yet, but her track record is on a promising path. Clark broke too many records to count during her time at Iowa. Most notably, she broke Kelsey Plum and Pete Maravich’s all-time NCAA scoring records during her senior year.

In addition, she helped lead Iowa to three straight Big Ten titles. Moreover, she propelled her squad to back-to-back national championship runner-up finishes. Clark looks to continue her success at the next level, and the hype for her journey will continue to be great for the women’s basketball landscape.

If the Fever follow through with their draft plans, the Mercury should get a dazzling Taurasi-Clark matchup in late June.