"She doesn't belong on the Olympic team": Michael Wilbon passionately defends Caitlin Clark snub, calls out Stephen A Smith

Michael Wilbon defends Caitlin Clark being snubbed for the Olympics team, calls out Stephen A Smith
Michael Wilbon defends Caitlin Clark being snubbed for the Olympics team, calls out Stephen A Smith

ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon criticized his colleagues Stephen A. Smith and Christine Brennan, asserting that Caitlin Clark should not be included in the 12-person Team USA roster for the women’s basketball event at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Despite Caitlin Clark's role in helping the WNBA achieve record viewership numbers, she was not selected for the roster, with WNBA veterans chosen over her. Stephen A. Smith expressed surprise at her omission, arguing that she deserved a spot because she is "box office" and could help globalize the WNBA brand.

However, Wilbon believes that the primary goal of Olympic selection should be winning games, not promoting a brand.

“Not only do I not have an issue, let's get something straight. She doesn’t belong on the Olympic team. She hasn't deserved to be on the Olympic team. She's not as good as 20 American women who can be on that team, probably 25,” Wilbon said.

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“And I'm tired of people, including my dear friends Christine Brennan and Stephen A. Smith, saying she can grow the game. The point is not to grow the game; the point is to win the game. We play to win the games.”

The 12-person Team USA roster is as follows:

Napheesa CollierMinnesota LynxForward
Kahleah CopperPhoenix MercuryGuard/Forward
Chelsea GrayLas Vegas AcesGuard
Brittney GrinerPhoenix MercuryCenter
Sabrina IonescuNew York LibertyGuard
Jewell LoydSeattle StormGuard
Kelsey PlumLas Vegas AcesGuard
Breanna StewartNew York LibertyForward
Diana TaurasiPhoenix MercuryGuard
Alyssa ThomasConnecticut SunForward
A'ja WilsonLas Vegas AcesForward/Center
Jackie YoungLas Vegas AcesGuard/Forward
“The Olympic team is about who deserves to be there. She does not deserve to be there,” Wilbon said. She's handled it beautifully. She can go in the future, she will earn the right to go to the Olympics, probably in four years. Now, she's not close to deserving.”

In her first 12 games this WNBA season, Caitlin Clark is averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 37.3% from the field and 32.7% from beyond the arc.

Caitlin Clark reacts to Olympics snub: ‘No disappointment’

Caitlin Clark has responded calmly to the discussions around her potential inclusion in the Olympics, stating that she wasn't disappointed by the news.

"Honestly, no disappointment," Clark said. "I think it just gives you something to work for. It's a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it's just a little more motivation. You remember that, and hopefully in four years when four years comes back around, I can be there."

She said Team USA officials had informed her in advance that she would not be selected for the team, allowing her to make the most of her summer break after swiftly transitioning from college to the professional ranks.

Clark also expressed her best wishes for Team USA in their upcoming Olympic tournament.

"I'm excited for the girls that are on the team," she said. "I know it's the most competitive team in the world, and I knew it could've gone either way of me being on the team, me not being on the team. I'm excited for them. I'm going to be rooting them on to win gold."

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