Angel Reese

Angel Reese will ‘take the bad guy role' if it means drawing attention to women's basketball

Angel Reese and Chennedy Carter discussed the continuing fallout from a drama-filled weekend in the WNBA

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Angel Reese will never be one to mince words.

At Monday's practice, the 6-foot-3 Chicago Sky forward stood beside her teammate, Chennedy Carter, and took questions from the media for 13 minutes about the drama that unfolded during and after Saturday's loss to the Indiana Fever.

Carter said she had "no regrets" about the off-the-ball hip check on Caitlin Clark that earned her a flagrant 1 after league review, but will move forward accordingly based on how the play was ruled.

"At the end of the day, it's all love outside of basketball," she told reporters when asked about her physicality. "When we're in those four lines, it's smoke. After, it's all love, I promise. We're a genuine team, we're genuine [people]. We didn't hit her [Clark] like she was out on the streets, it's just basketball."

Reese had Carter's back the whole way through, stating she has dealt with multiple hard fouls this season that could have been ruled flagrants, too.

"Coming into a league that is super competitive with amazing talent here, I wasn't coming in here expecting it to be easy because of the name I have," she said. "I'm playing for the name in front of me. I play with the letters across my chest. So understanding that, and understanding what that comes with. We all we got, we all we need. Understanding that we have each other's back through whatever."

When asked about the social media and media reaction to the physicality Clark and other rookies have experienced this season, both Reese and Carter agreed that it's always been part of the game. The league's growing popularity has just put a spotlight on it.

"I think so many people are watching women's basketball right now," Reese said. "It all started from the National Championship Game [in 2023], and I've been dealing with this for two years now. And understanding, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me, but honestly, I'll take that because look where women's basketball is. People are talking about women's basketball, but you never would think that people would be talking about women's basketball. People are pulling up to games, we got celebrities coming to games, sold out arenas, just because of one single game [referencing the 2023 women's National Championship Game between LSU and Iowa]. And just looking at that, I'll take that role. I'll take the 'bad guy' role, and I'll continue to take that on and be that for my teammates. And I know I'll go down in history. I'll look back in 20 years and be like, 'the reason why we watching women's basketball is not just because of one person, it's because of me, too,' and I want y'all to realize that.

"A lot of us have done so much for this game. There are so many great players in this league that have deserved this for a really long time, and luckily, it's coming now."

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