Jay Williams on ESPN's "College GameDay." Jay Williams on ESPN’s “College GameDay.”

Jay Williams doesn’t think Caitlin Clark is the greatest women’s college basketball player ever and insists race has nothing to do with why.

Last week, Williams raised some eyebrows when he refused to call Clark “great” even after she cemented her name in history by becoming the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball.

“I am unwilling… to say that she is great yet,” Williams said. “I think she’s the most prolific scorer the game has ever seen. I hold great, or the levels of immortality or the pantheon, to when you win championships.”

Wednesday night, Williams sort of doubled down on those comments, claiming he’s still unwilling to call Clark the GOAT. But last week, Williams wasn’t just unwilling to call Clark the “greatest of all time,” he paused at even calling her “great.” After Williams held Clark’s lack of a national championship against her, many on social media accused the ESPN analyst of discrediting the sport’s all-time leading score because she is white. And early Thursday morning, Williams posted a video to address those accusations.

“Please stop with all this race baiting sh*t,” Williams said. “Please. Ain’t nobody out here trying to do that. It’s just hoopers. Now, the comment of great, [Angel Reese and Clark] are both great, OK? We were talking about levels of greatness and immortality and in the pantheon of greatness, there are levels to greatness with [championships]. That’s how I think about it.

“You think about differently? Fine. But the only thing I’m gonna say is to all you keyboard courageous people that wanna call me a bum or try to make fun of my career, none of y’all could hold me. None of y’all. Ninety percent of y’all didn’t even pick up a basketball. You can’t even dribble the rock. You can’t even shoot. So, let’s stop being tough guys on the keyboard. Just because you disagree with somebody doesn’t mean you need to call their game a bum when you know that’s not the case.”

Saying Clark is not the “greatest of all time” because she does not have a championship is not outlandish. If anything, it falls in line with most GOAT conversations in sports. The fact that LeBron James “only” has four championships is the biggest knock on his career. Where would Tom Brady rank if he stopped winning Super Bowls in 2004? It’s not a hot take to say the greatest players of all time in any sport are often measured by championships.

It is, however, a hot take to say the greatest scorer of all time in a sport isn’t great. And that’s the argument Williams attempted to make last week. It’s totally fair for Williams to push back on anyone claiming his hot take had something to do with race. But reaching for the tired “you never played” argument seems unwarranted. If you’re going to drop a hot take, dealing with rash reactions comes with the territory, even if some of those reactions are from keyboard warriors. But as Williams said, “Just because you disagree with somebody doesn’t mean you need to call their game a bum.”

[Jay Williams]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com