Thursday, July 18, 2024

Fever coach Christie Sides compares Caitlin Clark to WNBA great while making case for Rookie of the Year

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While the Chicago Sky have been very vocal about Angel Reese as the Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides gave her take on the award for her phenom, Caitlin Clark

Both rookies have been performing extremely well this season, earning themselves spots in the WNBA All-Star Game later this year in Phoenix. 

But their early success has led to the latest debate: who should be named the WNBA Rookie of the Year? 


Head coach Christie Sides of the Indiana Fever talks with Caitlin Clark during the Aces game at Michelob Ultra Arena on May 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Following the team’s win against the New York Liberty, Sides was asked if she wanted to take the opportunity to make the case for Clark, who just made WNBA history earlier on Saturday as the first rookie to ever record a triple-double. 

Sides was straight to the point, while comparing Clark to a WNBA great in the process. 


“I’m always going to make a case for my players. First and foremost, she is the most competitive human being I’ve ever met,” Sides said. “I really compare her to Diana Taurasi. She’s always looking to find ways to get better. ‘How can I help the team? What can we do?’ 

“She found a rhythm tonight. The timing for our players is getting better every game. You know, those passes that she was making early, we just weren’t ready for them. Now, the chemistry is there, the timing is there, and that’s going to keep getting better.”

Clark’s triple-double came on a night where the Fever defeated the New York Liberty, handing the WNBA powerhouse its fourth loss of the season. 

Christie Sides speaks to Caitlin Clark

Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides chats with Caitlin Clark during the Chicago Sky game on June 23, 2024, at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Clark finished with 19 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds over 38 minutes on the court, wowing the hometown fans with her ability to help her team win while racking up stats. 

“She just wants to win. To me, she’s going to be my Rookie of the Year every day,” Sides concluded. 

Clark leads all rookies in the WNBA in points this season with 16.1 per game, with Reese not too far behind her with 14.1. Clark is also leading rookies in assists, averaging 7.4 per game, as Sides mentioned the increased chemistry she’s found with teammates on the floor. 

Caitlin Clark smiles

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever is presented the game ball after becoming the first rookie to score a triple-double against the New York Liberty at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on July 6, 2024, in Indianapolis.  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)


The Clark-Reese debate will surely continue throughout the season, as both players keep putting up numbers and helping their teams get better on a nightly basis. 

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