Angel Reese on 'Frustrating' Caitlin Clark Drama: 'It's Bigger Than Me'

Growing the audience for women's basketball is the goal for Angel Reese and her LSU teammates.

Reese, 20, and her champion teammates and appeared on Wednesday and discussed the media attention around their NCAA championship.

Hudson, 41, said "everyone" has seen the clip of Reese and Iowa star 's infamous trash talk moment during the tournament, but asked Reese what it was like having their championship be "overshadowed" by the drama around her and Clark.

Reese said it was "frustrating" to have her team's hard work overlooked, but that ultimately she's proud of the exposure the moment brought to women's basketball.

"I mean, 9.9 million people watched the game. That's more than the men," she said. "I know one day we're going down in the history books, so it's bigger than me," Reese added.

The self-proclaimed "Bayou Barbie" told Hudson that she and her teammates "put a lot of sweat and tears into that championship" and she's not sure viewers fully understood that. "People don't realize that, it's not easy to win a championship."

Reese explained that she and Clark "are cool" and there was never any "beef" between them. She noted that both her and the Iowa star are ultra-competitive on the court, so the trash talk shouldn't be a surprise.

"We're the top of our class and to see how much we've grown women's basketball in a year, that's what it was for both of us," Reese said.

Johnson, 19, told Hudson that Angel's trash talk shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. "First of all, Angel is going to be her regardless and we support that," she said.

The situation ultimately became "something bigger than" people realize, Johnson added. "Now you've got people that would never think about watching women's basketball — they're tuned in."

Johnson said she "was happy to be a part of that" on top of becoming a national champion this year.


After the LSU Tigers won the NCAA title, several examples of clear discrepancies in reactions to Reese and Clark's taunts transpired online. The social media reaction to both athletes exposed the racist double standards that the sport continues to be plagued by, particularly when online critics get involved.

On several occasions during the tournament, Clark was praised for appearing to taunt her opponents on the court.

But while Clark's taunts were met with praise from the media and users on Twitter, Reese was harshly criticized for the same behavior towards Clark in the game.


, "Let's call it what it is. [Clark] did the waving, she did the Cena," referring to the "you can't see me" hand gesture made popular by wrestler John Cena.

Smith, 55, pointed out that during Iowa's semi-final match up againt South Carolina, Clark "waved off" one of the team's shooters. "She didn't mind being disrespectful, so why is it that we're hesitant to bring that up?"

During her postgame interview, Reese said, "All year I was critiqued about who I was. I don't fit the narrative. I don't fit in the box that you all want me to be in.


I'm too hood, I'm too ghetto. You told me that all year. But when other people do it, y'all don't say nothing."

Reese continued, "So this is for the girls that look like me, that want to speak up on what they believe in. It's unapologetically you. It was bigger than me tonight. I'm happy. I felt I helped grow women's basketball."

news flash