Caitlin Clark

Getty Caitlin Clark’s debut didn’t go as planned.

Caitlin Clark came back down to earth on May 14 in her WNBA regular season debut, and Diana Taurasi‘s past comments on Clark look a bit different now.

“Taurasi was right, and it was nothing personal. Just a fair warning from a veteran superstar who’s seen it all over the last 20 years,” wrote Greg Moore of the Arizona Republic on May 15.

The longtime Phoenix Mercury star turned heads in April when she told SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt that “reality is coming” of Clark. The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft, Clark looked anything but unstoppable against the Connecticut Sun in her much-anticipated pro debut.

Clark led the Indiana Fever with 20 points on 5-15 shooting, and she committed a record 10 turnovers for a rookie debut. She averaged 28.4 points, shot a 46.2% field goal percentage, and averaged 4.6 turnovers per game throughout her collegiate career at Iowa.

“Reality is coming. There’s levels to this thing. And that’s just life,” Taurasi told Van Pelt. “We all went through it. You see it on the NBA side, and you’re going to see it on this side. … You look superhuman playing 18-year-olds, but you’re going to come with some grown women that’ve been playing professional basketball for a long time.”

“Not saying that it’s not gonna translate because when you’re great at what you do, you’re just gonna get better. But there is gonna be a transition period where you’re just gonna have to give yourself some grace as a rookie,” Taurasi added.


Diana Taurasi: ‘Greatness is Going to Translate’

Diana Taurasi: Caitlin Clark will face a learning curve when she enters the WNBA. It won’t be easy.

Fans: HATER.

Caitlin Clark: 5-for-15 FG, 4-for-11 3pt. Record for most turnovers in #WNBA history for a debut (10).

Fans didn’t like Taurasi’s take at the time and spouted off on social media, which included comments that Clark could beat her. Taurasi called out the fan culture in the process during a training camp interview on April 28.

“The new fans are really sensitive these days,” Taurasi said. “Like anything, greatness is going to translate and she’s proven that at every level.”

Taurasi clearly indicated her belief that Clark will succeed in the WNBA. How soon and to what degree that will happen remains the question.

Moore noted that Clark’s first performance left question marks well beyond the stat sheet. Clark got into early foul trouble, she hardly scored in the first half, and she couldn’t rally the Fever.

“When Clark entered with about 7 minutes to play in the final period, the Fever trailed by 13; they ended up losing by 21,” Moore wrote. “Clark had eight points and an assist, but that was offset by two turnovers, two fouls and three missed shots as Connecticut pulled away.”


Caitlin Clark Gets Another Shot Soon But Needs Improvement

Clark will get another shot on May 17 against the New York Liberty in her home debut. Her first and only home game in the preseason went better in some ways as she scored 12 points in an 83-80 win over the Atlanta Dream.

That said, the game occurred in the preseason, and Clark shot 4-12 in the game after a 6-15 shooting performance in the preseason opener at Dallas. In addition, Clark committed 11 turnovers between those two games.

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