It might not be apparent to everyone, but if you’re among the uninitiated, you should know that women’s collegiate basketball is in the midst of a boom period.

You can’t look around without finding greatness in the sport, specifically in the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is putting the touches on an all-time college career, regardless of the sport, and doing it in style. South Carolina is looking to complete an undefeated season, and they’re crushing people along the way. USC’s Juju Watkins, UConn’s Paige Bueckers and UCLA’s Lauren Betts have all starred throughout the tournament, representing the next generation of stars.

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey, for as historically great as she is, has become a distraction to all of it, though.

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Mulkey held a press conference last week ripping a Washington Post feature in which she was the subject. The Post hadn’t even published the story by that point, though, which was enough for people to provide commentary on the 61-year-old — both regarding her coaching career and her personal life. The LA Times published a commentary piece by Ben Bolch earlier in the week, with Washington Post following up Saturday by finally posting their feature.

Mulkey, after leading LSU to a victory over UCLA in the Sweet 16 on Saturday, went on the attack.

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“When did it come out?” Mulkey sarcastically asked of the Washington Post story, having already been informed by ESPN’s Holly Rowe that it had been published shortly before Saturday’s game.

“Imagine that,” she said after her question was answered, as seen on “Must have thought y’all would look at it, get some clicks or be a distraction. No … I haven’t read it and I probably won’t read it. I probably will have my attorneys communicate with me to see if there’s anything in there that we need to be concerned about.”

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Mulkey, perhaps looking to avoid stepping on her lawyers toes, turned her attention away from WaPo and onto Bolch.

“I’m not going to let you attack young people, and there were some things in this commentary, guys, that you should be offended by as women,” Mulkey said. “It was so sexist, and they don’t even know it. It was good versus evil in that game today. Evil? Called us dirty debutantes? How dare you?”

In coming to the defense of her players, Mulkey was absolutely right. In doing so immediately after they’d clinched a birth to the Elite Eight as they look to defend their national title? That’s kind of the grey area. Mulkey knows what her players need more than we’ll try to understand, but from 3,000 feet it seems as though she’s distracting from their success.

Flau’jae Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the win, sharing a great story about how she’s learned to play for her mother postgame. Mulkey, though, will dominate the headlines — including this one.

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It likely won’t stop anytime soon, either, but with the admittedly tame Washington Post story and one of many negative commentary pieces in the past, maybe she’ll allow for the attention to gravitate toward her players.

Featured image via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images