Caitlin Clark rubbishes talk of Angel Reese ‘rivalry’ as she plays down feud ahead of showdown in Chicago

Caitlin Clark can’t wait to face Angel Reese and Chicago Sky again on Sunday, but lamented how a show from rapper Russ has kept the WNBA rivals from facing off in a bigger venue.

The Indiana Fever sensation is also adamant that she and Reese have no ‘rivalry’ amid the controversy surrounding their recent on-field battles, despite admitting that the attention it brings is a good thing for the sport.

Tickets for Sunday’s game between the Fever and the Sky start at $230 on StubHub starting Friday evening for the third match between the league’s two biggest names.

After packing State Farm Arena with 17,000 fans as Indiana defeated the Atlanta Dream for its fourth straight victory, Clark wondered why Sunday’s game isn’t also at a larger venue.

“I saw the ticket prices, the only thing is I’m surprised we’re not playing the United Center,” Clark said, before admitting she didn’t know the rapper had a show scheduled for the evening.

Angel Reese

Caitlin Clark has downplayed her ‘rivalry’ with Angel Reese ahead of their meeting on Sunday

Clark and Indiana Fever enter Sunday's match having won four straight

Clark and Indiana Fever enter Sunday’s match having won four straight

“I thought that would have been really good for the game and for all the women’s basketball fans in Chicago. Maybe there is some kind of conflict that I don’t know about; that’s clearly slightly above my salary.’

The United Center has nearly 21,000 fans, while Wintrust Arena, the venue for Sunday’s game, holds less than half of that (10,000).

While Clark made a dubious claim that her rivalry with Reese and Sky is purely media-driven, she admitted that she was happy to play her part if it would increase interest.

“I’m pretty sure all of you are the only people who consider this a rivalry,” she said.

“To us it’s just a basketball game. That’s what it is. If it helps the game, then absolutely. That is amazing. That’s what it should be. People can talk about it.

‘Were excited. We have to wipe this (the win in Atlanta) off and learn from it. We travel tonight, get there, practice, prepare and play the next day at 4pm. Like I said, if that’s what moves the game forward, then absolutely (call it a rivalry).

“I think the two previous games lived up to what everyone expected, just really great basketball games, honestly.”

Clark was brutally checked to the ground by Chennedy Carter in the first match against Sky on June 1, with Reese jumping off the bench to applaud the challenge.

Two weeks later, Reese appeared to hit Clark in the head when she tried to block a shot at the rim and was fouled. After the match, Reese said Clark is getting “a special whistle” from the officials to protect her.

Reese and Clark have dominated headlines lately as their fierce battles on the field

Reese and Clark have dominated headlines lately as their fierce battles on the field

Clark admits her rivalry with Reese is good for the WNBA and gets more people talking

Clark admits her rivalry with Reese is good for the WNBA and gets more people talking

She wondered why they weren't performing at a larger venue in Chicago on Sunday

She wondered why they weren’t performing at a larger venue in Chicago on Sunday

Additionally, in late May, Reese deleted a tweet that many interpreted as targeting Clark after Sky defeated New York Liberty.

“And that is achieving a victory in a packed room, not just because of one player on our charter flight. #SKYTOWN,” she wrote, adding a kiss emoji at the end.

Reese and her Sky team didn’t have any charter flights at the beginning of the season, but Clark and Indiana did. Reese also seemed to allude to the fact that Clark is largely to thank for the surge of interest in the WNBA after being picked first overall by Indiana in April’s Draft – the same event where Reese was picked seventh overall by Chicago.

But wherever Clark goes, people show up and sell out. Friday in Atlanta, Clark’s first time playing in the city, was no different. She is clearly getting a taste for the big stage.

“It’s fun, you can feel the energy tonight,” Clark said. “There aren’t many people cheering for us and that certainly helps.

‘I think that’s energy you can feed off of. You just feel it, it’s something you always want and want to perform for them. You want to be great for them.”