Caitlin Clark, Rez Ball, and the Pros

Caitlin Clark will play her first pro basketball game tonight for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association. In her four years at the University of Iowa she had already broken records and helped create a storm of interest in the women’s game. And she already has endorsements—now legal for college player—which make her a millionaire, but her starting salary as a WNBA rookie number one draft pick is set at $76,000.

This—and the millions of dollars that the men receive as rookies, and the hundreds of millions they receive as stars—is cause for conversation in the world of women’s sports. So too is the fact that Caitlin Clark is white in a game of African-American stars. The press is comparing this to the coming of Larry Bird—another white Midwesterner—into men’s professional basketball more than four decades ago. Bird and his rivalry and friendship with Magic Johnson vaulted professional basketball into the mainstream of men’s professional sports. Until then the NBA was an afterthought to major league baseball and football. Some see Caitlin Clark doing the same for the women’s game.Read Rich’s Post →