“Hope this is waking WNBA up”: Stephen Jackson warns the league about respecting players demands amid Caitlin Clark’s surge

BIG3 - Week EightStephen Jackson warns to start listening to players’ demands amid Caitlin Clark’s arrival.

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson warned the WNBA about starting to take into consideration its players’ demands amid Caitlin Clark’s popularity. The arrival of the Iowa superstar is expected to help the league’s popularity grow and possibly earn more money.

On the “All The Smoke” podcast, Jackson and Matt Barnes discussed a variety of topics, including Clark’s impact on the WNBA. “Stack Jack” reckons the WNBA should be scared of what Clark could do for the players like getting them paid somewhere else.

Jackson pointed out Big3’s offer to the Hawkeyes sharpshooter reportedly worth $5 million. Clark’s popularity would benefit players since other leagues and teams could offer her and other players more money, which the WNBA can’t afford.

“If it’s an opportunity for a lady that’s playing in college basketball and she can go overseas and make five or 10 million, we might not see her in the WNBA,” Jackson said.

“I hope this is waking the WNBA up to see how important women like Caitlin is for basketball. You got to give them what they are worth now and stop making them wait.” [8:49 – 9:05]

Caitlin Clark reportedly earns an estimated $3.1 million from her NIL deals, which ranked fourth among all collegiate athletes. The only players earning more than her were Bronny James (USC – Basketball), Shedeur Sanders (Colorado – Football) and Livvy Dunne (LSU – Gymnastics).

Clark is expected to go first overall in the upcoming WNBA draft to the Indiana Fever. Her reported salary for her rookie year is around $74,000. With the Big3 offering her $5 million to play 10 games this summer, it might be true that the league should worry.

If Clark won’t accept the offer, other collegiate stars next in line could and skip the WNBA altogether. The only positive here is Clark’s popularity might be enough to help the struggling league and become more popular than ever.

Caitlin Clark’s effect on WNBA already felt by Indiana Fever

The Indiana Fever is expected to pick Caitlin Clark No. 1 in the 2024 WNBA draft and pair her with last year’s first-overall pick Aliyah Boston. Clark’s popularity is already felt by the Fever with their national television schedule.

The league recently announced that 36 of the Fever’s 40 regular season games this season will be nationally televised. Clark will be seen on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, CBS, NBA TV and Amazon Prime Video.

The ticket prices for Indiana Fever road games have also soared compared to games against other teams.

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