LSU’s Angel Reese shows support to Sheryl Swoopes after backlash from Caitlin Clark criticism: ‘Be a Sheryl’

Sheryl Swoopes may be public enemy No. 1 in Iowa, but that’s not the case down in Baton Rouge.

Swoopes is a transcendent figure in women’s basketball.

The three-time WNBA MVP was the first player to join the women’s professional league, carving out an exceptional playing career.

However, recent comments made by her about Iowa star Caitlin Clark drew the ire of Iowa fans.

Swoopes was the subject of controversy after she incorrectly criticized Clark in her chase to break Kelsey Plum’s record as the all-time NCAA women’s scoring leader.

In addition, Swoopes also voiced concerns about the eventual transition from the NCAA to the WNBA for Clark, as well as LSU standout Angel Reese.

The two are regarded as the top prospects in the 2024 WNBA Draft and have been dominant at the collegiate level.

Swoopes’ remarks received two different reactions out of the respective fan bases. Her comments drew the ire of Iowa fans, as well as the Hawkeyes’ social media account.

Why Angel Reese wore 'Be A Sheryl' sweatshirt after LSU's intense win over Texas A&M - The Mirror US

During the team’s next game against Penn State, fans were seen wearing t-shirts that said, “Don’t be a Sheryl.”

While Swoopes has not gained many favorites in the Midwest, that can’t be said about the South.

While Iowa has spent time knocking Swoopes, Reese took it upon herself to respond to the t-shirts made by Hawkeyes fans, posing with a pic alongside the basketball legend with a sweatshirt that stated, “Be a Sheryl.”

Clement W on X: "Be A Sheryl. There are so many reasons why. Here's my tribute to the legend @airswoopes22, inspired by vintage Nike ads. #BeASheryl" / X

Clark has not made any comments about what Swoopes said, but it’s evident that Reese is not taking it too personally.

What did Sheryl Swoopes say about Caitlin Clark?

Swoopes got on the wrong side of Iowa basketball fans for her comments about Clark and Reese on an episode of Gilbert Arenas’ show, “Gil’s Arena.”

During the discussion, the topic of transitioning from the college level to the WNBA was brought up.

Swoopes gave her stance on the matter, stating that she did not believe that Clark would be able to go to the WNBA and perform at the level she is in the NCAA, at least not right away.

“Will Caitlin Clark be a good pro? Absolutely,” Swoopes said.

Sheryl Swoopes gets back to her roots - Just Women's Sports

“Will Caitlin Clark come into the WNBA and do what she’s doing right now immediately? Absolutely not. Not going to happen.”

In addition, Swoopes received flak for her comments about Clark’s scoring record. At the time, the Iowa senior was still chasing Kelsey’s Plum for first place on the all-time women’s basketball scoring list, but has since taken sole possession of first.

“If Kelsey Plum set that record in four years, well, Caitlin should’ve broke that record in four years,” Swoopes said. “But because there’s a COVID year, and then there’s another year, you know what I mean?

So she’s already had an extra year to break that record.

So, is it truly a broken record? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But yeah, that’ll go in the record books. And, I don’t think it should be.”

The WNBA legend incorrectly stated that Clark is in her fifth year of playing, pointing to COVID as the reason for Clark getting an extra season to increase her career numbers.

In reality, Clark is in her fourth season, following the same timeframe as Plum.

After Clark broke the record, Swoopes admitted that she “made a mistake” by referencing Clark as a fifth-year player and stated that the two had a conversation.

Caitlin Clark’s Scoring Record Sheds Light On Forgotten Legacy Of Black Collegiate Athletes ‘Who Paved The Way Before Her’ | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

However, she failed to get into the specifics of what was discussed.

“A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to (Reese) and had a really good conversation with Angel over the phone and sent a message to Caitlin,” Swoopes said during Sunday’s Baylor-Texas Tech broadcast.

“She responded. She and I went back and forth. I won’t share what she said, I’ll leave that to her if she wants to share. But I will say, what I said to her was, ‘I made a mistake in saying it was your fifth year when it is your fourth.’

“I have nothing but respect for what she has done for the game.

If she wants to share what her response was and how that conversation went, I’ll leave that to her. But it was a really good conversation.”

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