As LSU women’s basketball celebrates their first ever National Championship— I can’t help but notice the chatter on social, and even within some of my circle and network.
Seemingly everywhere I look, there is critique of Angel Reese and her choice of celebrating her first natty.
ANGEL REESE TO CAITLIN CLARK 😳 pic.twitter.com/2NY0CEzwJ3— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2023
If you are not familiar with women’s college basketball or haven’t turned on ESPN the past couple weeks, there is a generational talent named Caitlin Clark who has been putting on a display for Iowa during the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament.
"You're a generational player." 🤝— espnW (@espnW) April 2, 2023
Kim Mulkey has high praise for Caitlin Clark. pic.twitter.com/Z6on9jWzZb
Throughout the tournament she has been turning heads with her incredible skillset, scoring and passing ability, style of play, competitiveness, and most importantly— shit-talking and antics.
Clark, who was named AP Player of the year during the tournament, really started to catch national headlines when their was an elite eight show-down against Louisville.
Clark lit them for 40, casually dropping a triple-double, and wasn’t shy letting everyone know about it.
At one point, Clark waves her hands over her eyes signaling “You can’t see me” letting everyone know that she was unstoppable and Louisville could not “see” her.
She is literally doing Caitlin Clark’s celebration!! Oh, but she gets a pass, wonder why. pic.twitter.com/iRExYHkDFI— Just Vent (@JustVent6) April 2, 2023
In 2023, when you mix generational talent and high-level shit-talking— you usually have a solid recipe for some viral content, or at the worst, you give the media a plethora of things to spit out with their own perspective and spin on them.
Let’s fast forward to the Final Four where Clark was matched up against a South Carolina team who was the defending national champion, was -200 odds to win the national championship, and riding a 40+ game winning streak.
Clark lights them up for 40+ and even managed to have another viral moment on the court when she waved her hand at a South Carolina player with the ball just behind the three-point line, signaling “I don’t need to guard her.”
Caitlin Clark didn't bother with defending Raven Johnsonpic.twitter.com/UEOzlTfC9V— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 1, 2023
Well— the basketball world took extreme offense to that, apparently.
LSU CHIMES IN
Now, LSU women’s basketball is led by The Bayou Barbie, Angel Reese, who is notorious for saying what’s on her mind, letting opponents know when she is dominating them, and loves some spotlight.
She gets a teammates to crown her during starting line-ups, does her dance, and usually gives the fans something, at some point, to get rowdy about.
In her elite eight game, she was seen on tv and social media drawing a ring on her finger, before the game was over.
She has been a media sensation this year with her dancing, shit talking, and impressive play to back it up.
Given an opportunity to throw some gas on the fire, LSU’s Alexis Morris puts out to social how “disrespectful” Clark’s defense against South Carolina was.
Angel Reese felt disrespected by the way Caitlin plays and celebrates.
And a beautifully, hyped up National Championship game script was born.
WHY I LOVE THE CELEBRATION
Women’s basketball has been criticized for a while now for not being as entertaining or as “skilled” as the men’s game.
Why are we complaining when we have great talents battling and entertaining us?
I was glued to the TV waiting for Angel to let someone know they we too little to guard her.
The same way I was tuned into ESPN and social watching Pat Beverly taunt LeBron James.
Angel Reese with an early “too small” 😂 pic.twitter.com/4e2xAfZh6f— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 31, 2023
I was waiting for Caitlin to hold up three fingers and wave across her face tot he crowd when she dropped a 30-foot three.
The same way I have watched Steph the past decade celebrate threes.
If the men can do things like this, why not the women?
I heard a few comments where people said that Caitlin dominated Angel rr that LSU still “didn’t see” Clark because she scored 30, and Angel had no right to taunt her with her own move.
I call bullshit.
Or I have a different definition of dominating.
In my opinion, Angel absolutely dominated that game, and I think LSU saw Caitlin Clark perfectly fine.
In basketball, an individual “dominating” the game is not always defined by points, at all.
Basketball is about controlling runs and momentum, and at the college level, coaching is crazy important and plays a huge factor in how players show up.
LSU knew that you could probably pencil in 25-30 points for Clark, but if they could control the momentum and any runs she would lead— they would be in the game.
Kim Mulkey had her squad ready.
They played defense, and if you watched the game and the plays Iowa tried to run for Caitlin— LSU sniffed a lot of that out and was as ready for her as you can be.
Clark made some of her impossible shots and managed to make a little run in the third quarter.
But overall, LSU led and controlled most of the game.
Angel Reese and LSU dominated the boards, especially the offensive boards, creating incredible second chance points, and maintaining momentum when’s shots were missed from the perimeter or driving in the paint.
The ability to have second-chance points and opportunities plays such critical role in a game, especially in a game where you have the lead and team can get hot like Caitlin Clark and Iowa can.
LSU controlled the game with and without Angel, and even when she was on the bench in foul trouble, she affected the game by motivating teammates and having them ready for the challenge.
Listen to the post game interview.
Incredible leadership and accountability from LSU.
Angel dribbled the ball up the court, facilitated and didn’t force bad shots, encouraged shots from the perimeter, and did not let Iowa drop into the paint and double her down low, like they did against South Carolina.
If she wants to tell Caitlin Clark to ring her and she can’t see her— I say go for it.
Don’t like it Iowa? Play better.
You know Caitlin would have let LSU and their fans know if she dropped 40 and had a Natty.
This is great for women’s basketball— let the girls be who they want to be.