During her response, a slight laugh escaped, but Caitlin Clark, with the microphone in hand after securing her initial WNBA triumph with the Indiana Fever, promptly stated, “No, I’m completely serious.”

She mentioned that the recent two months have “truly been a whirlwind,” from advancing to the national championship game with Iowa — where the stadiums were filled all season as the hype surrounding Clark evolved from place to place — to transitioning to the WNBA as the top overall draft pick and enduring a 0-5 start indicating that there would still be a period of adjustment.

Although she “wouldn’t trade it for anything,” this doesn’t imply that it has been a smooth run for Clark, who contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds — plus a crucial 3-pointer late in the final quarter — to assist the Fever in overcoming the Los Angeles Sparks, 78-73, on Friday.

“Frankly, it seems like I interact with the press more than I get to speak with my own family… which is rather sorrowful, in a sense,” Clark expressed, clarifying that her remarks were not exaggerated. “It’s a lot for a 22-year-old. It can be challenging at times.”

Caitlin Clark’s reaction after missing a shot during the Fever’s victory against the Sparks on Friday. Getty Images
Caitlin Clark and the Fever have initiated the season with a 1-5 record. USA TODAY Sports

Following a question regarding Mental Health Awareness Month, Clark, whose response stirred many discussions since the start of the WNBA season, has been at the center of numerous discussions pertaining to her transition to professional play and the extent of her impact on the league’s rapid expansion.

Following the Chicago Sky’s victory over the Liberty earlier this week, Angel Reese seemed to suggest, in a post on X that has now been deleted, that the league’s growth can be attributed to more than Clark — stating “not solely due to one player on our charter flight,” at the time.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley also criticized the “immature” individuals who have scrutinized Clark amidst increased visibility and other advancements — like the introduction of charter planes — that she brought to the WNBA.

However, reactions such as Liberty star Jonquel Jones calling out Barkley and questioning his target soon ensued.

“I find this narrative of universal criticism towards Caitlin Clark, even brought up in terms of race — let’s put an end to it,” Aces head coach Becky Hammon told journalists on Friday. “It’s not accurate.”

Caitlin Clark tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds during the Fever’s win against the Sparks on Friday. USA TODAY Sports

Nonetheless, this has led to a complex situation for Clark, the Fever, and the entire league to navigate in the initial weeks of the season.

Despite occasional struggles, Clark has maintained an average of 16.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game, with her scoring ranking 17th in the league and leading the Fever.

“It’s like, ‘This is my occupation. This is my passion. I never want to lose the excitement of the game,” Clark mentioned on Friday. “And instances like tonight simply remind me why I enjoy playing basketball and why I commenced playing basketball, because obtaining a victory and walking off the court with numerous children screaming your name and relishing watching you is truly special. 

“I believe it’s the little occurrences that remind me every single day why I pursue this and why I adore it, and I think the most critical aspect is mental wellness is exceptionally crucial. It’s vital for professional athletes, it’s crucial for student-athletes, it’s essential for every individual in this world to feel like they have someone to communicate with.”