Angel Reese’s hand-painted shoes explained for Caitlin Clark showdown in WNBA

Angel Reese wore Joker-inspired sneakers for the Chicago Sky’s clash with Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever on Sunday.

The 22-year-old wasn’t involved in the creative process and says the artist Marvin Baroota didn’t reveal his grand design until he dropped the shoes off to the former LSU star. Baroota hand paints the shoes and in Reese’s case, they have the Joker’s smile on the right vamp and “Ha” written along the sides of both shoes.

Angel Reese strikes Caitlin Clark in head during layup attempt, receives  flagrant foul in Fever-Sky rematch | Fox News

“I let Marvin do whatever,” Reese revealed on Sunday ahead of the game with the Fever. “He drops the shoes on me at 10 o’clock the day before we leave. He brings the shoes to me and I’m just like, ‘All right, I’ll wear these.’”

Sunday’s WNBA clash is the second time that Reese and Clark have met since both turning professional at the 2024 WNBA Draft. Clark and the Fever won the first match in Indianapolis 71-70. It also happened to be the game where Sky guard Chennedy Carter hip-checked Clark to the ground, seemingly to Reese’s delight.

The pair’s rivalry dates back to their college basketball days, including an iconic 2022 National Championship game between LSU and Iowa. The Tigers were victorious in the game, which saw Reese taunt Clark to her face.

Clark and the Hawkeyes got revenge earlier this year, though, when they dumped LSU out of their National Championship title defense before losing to South Carolina in a second-consecutive final. The Clark-Reese college rivalry rumbling on into the WNBA has brought more eyes and attention to the league with the latter keen to take some recognition.

“The reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person,” Reese said. “It’s because of me, too. I want y’all to realize that.”

The hand-painted shoes were on display in Sunday's game

Clark has also already brushed off her more than physical welcoming to the WNBA. “I think everybody is physical with me, they get away with things that probably other people don’t get away with,” Clark said earlier this month. “It’s tough, but that’s just the fact of the matter. This is a very physical game, and you’re going to get pressure, this is professional basketball. It is what it is, honestly.”

Shaquille O’Neal, an NBA legend who has a close relationship with Reese, has put Clark’s treatment down to professional jealousy. “So I think where people get upset is, as a player, you don’t want to be forgotten,” said O’Neal.

“It’s professional jealousy. I think people should focus more on not just her, cause she is a great player, but don’t forget about the beautiful Cardoso and my girl, Angel.”

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