Charles Barkley lit a fire under WNBA fans with his Caitlin Clark comments, and a renowned rival for the Indiana Fever star seemed to respond to the Hall of Famer.

Barkley on Wednesday took time on TNT’s pregame show to call out WNBA players for allegedly being “petty” and hating on Clark due to the amount of attention she’s received. The Turner Sports broadcaster told players they should be grateful for what the former Iowa Hawkeyes star has brought to the league referencing charter flights and the ratings boosts.

His comments came on the same day LeBron James on his “Mind The Game” podcast advised Clark to ignore outside noise and the haters.

The rant irked and confused WNBA fans since there’s been very little evidence of actual hatred toward Clark. One of the prominent examples defenders of Barkley cite is when Dianna Taurasi warned about the tough transition Clark would experience coming from the college game to the pros. Clark is averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 assists per game through her first five games, but she leads the league in 5.8 turnovers per game.

Story continues below advertisement

Barkley’s comments also ignore the gradual growth of the WNBA year-over-year. Did Clark’s arrival exponentially help with that growth? Yes. Charter flights always have been an issue, and they existed before. But teams were limited in how many they had, so they had to pick and choose when to use a charter flight on a road trip. That no longer is the case given Clark’s star power.

The misinformed comments seemed to influence Angel Reese it appeared she took a jab at Barkley after the Chicago Sky on Thursday handed the New York Liberty their first loss at Barclays Center.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“And that’s on getting a WIN in a packed arena not just cause of one player on our charter flight,” Reese said in a now-deleted post on X.

Clark and Reese had their battles in college in high-profile matchups between Iowa and LSU. It could be interpreted Reese took a shot at Clark, but it also could be interpreted that the Sky forward is pointing out to people like Barkley that there are other stars who’ve had an impact on the league.

Story continues below advertisement

The post certainly adds more intrigue when the Fever take on the Sky at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on June 1.

Featured image via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images