Adam Silver discussing Caitlin Clark's expectations to be the face of the WNBA Photo Credit: ABC

Nearly every talking head in sports media seems to believe that Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark is destined to become the face of the WNBA. And while she may very well be on her way to doing so, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver seems to believe that it may be a bit unfair for Clark to already be “anointed” as that person.

In terms of popularity, there is obviously no debating Clark’s star power not only in the scope of women’s basketball but in all of mainstream sports.

But on the court, Clark, like any rookie typically does in any sport, has had some growing pains. While Clark’s scoring prowess is evident, the team success for the Fever has not been there. And Clark currently leads the WNBA in turnovers by a wide margin.

Ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Adam Silver was asked by NBA Countdown host Malika Andrews how the WNBA should “balance the power of a singular star (Caitlin Clark) vs. the health and growth of an entire league”.

Silver responded by saying that while he believes Clark will “deliver” on becoming the face of the WNBA, it is unfair for her to already be “anointed” as such in her rookie season.

“I think it is fantastic to see,” said Silver of Clark. “I even took my daughter to see her against the Liberty in New York. It was amazing to see the full stadium and the stars courtside. But I think Caitlin knows, she’s ultimately got to prove it on the court. And you cannot anoint stars in this league. There are other names on your list that were going to be the next.., fill in the blank. And they turned out not to be just because of their performance. I believe she is going to deliver. She seems to have the character and the drive, and the will, and the talent. But let her evolve as a player. I want to take the pressure off her, not put more on her.”

Silver’s thoughts on the matter can obviously be looked at in two different ways.

Yes, it is unfair for people to expect Clark to immediately come into the WNBA and be as dominant as the likes of LeBron James or Michael Jordan were when they came into the NBA.

But isn’t that same hope for Clark to become this great face for the WNBA what makes her such a fun player to watch? It’s fair to argue that fans having someone like Clark to either root for or root against is what is making the WNBA such a fun league to watch at the moment, with all due respect to the other excellent players in the league.

Regardless, Clark’s expectations do seem to be sky-high, whether Silver is happy about it or not.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.