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Why Angel Reese's Bold Moves & Unapologetic Mood Are Exactly What The WNBA Needs

If you’ve developed a newfound interest in the WNBA, Chicago Sky’s rookie Angel Reese says she’s part of the reason for that.

During a post-game interview reported by WGN-Chicago, the LSU alum addressed the negative media comments she has faced since her 2023 National Championship game and emphasized her willingness to endure the naysayers for the continued exposure for the WNBA.


“It all started from the National Championship game, and I’ve been dealing with this for two years now,” Reese said. “And understanding, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me, but honestly, I’ll take that ’cause look at where women’s basketball is.”

Being a 22-year-old basketball phenom comes with its set of challenges, both on and off the court. During the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game between the LSU Tigers and the Iowa State Hawkeyes, the rivalry between Angel Reese and Iowa standout player, now Indiana Fever’s rookie, Caitlin Clark, first emerged.

The game, where Reese famously used a waving hand gesture towards Clark, has since brought significant attention to the sport. Notably, Clark had previously used the same gesture in earlier games against other players.

Reese responded to the criticism following the game, stating:

“I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit into the box that y’all want me to be in. ‘I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto.’ Y’all told me that all year. But, when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing.”

Understanding her influence and the spotlight her college basketball career brought to women’s basketball, Reese says that she’s willing to take on the “bad guy” title if it keeps people “talking about women’s basketball.”

“People are pulling up to games — celebrities are coming to games, sold-out arenas, just because of one single game. Just looking at that, I’ll take that role,” the Chi-Town Barbie says.

“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, ‘Yeah, the reason we’re 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,” she adds.

Reese acknowledged the overdue recognition for many talented players in the league, expressing relief that it is finally happening: “There are so many great players in this league that have deserved this for a really, really long time. Luckily, it’s coming now,” she says.

Heavy is the crown of a WNBA legend in the making, and Reese is showing us how to handle negativity and criticism with grace.

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Featured image by Mike Coppola/MG24/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

 

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