Kelsey Plum Sep 26, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) motions to the camera after being fouled by the Dallas Wings in the second half during game two of the 2023 WNBA Playoffs at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

In the heat of winning her second straight WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces, guard Kelsey Plum took a swipe at the opposing team. She told reporters postgame after Wednesday night’s Game Four that the New York Liberty are “not a team” and “don’t care about each other.”

Those comments understandably drew the ire of Liberty players including All-Star center Jonquel Jones, who responded by calling Plum “classless” for her decision to “essentially **** on someone else” even after winning a title.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday, Plum blamed the media for taking her “extremely out of context” and turning her words into clickbait.

“I see how it came off, never was my intention and I apologize,” Plum said. “Our game grew immensely from this series, don’t let this bull**** detract from the biggest win here.”

The drama follows a hectic week between the WNBA, its Finals teams, and media.

Liberty players including starters Jones, Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney were fined $2,000 apiece, along with $25,000 for the team, for breaking the WNBA media policy after Game Four. The policy states teams must make players available who are requested by reporters.

In response, the Professional Basketball Writers Association released a statement calling out the Liberty for limiting “efforts to capture a critical moment in league history.”

Plum’s criticism of New York was captured in numerous stories. Yahoo Sports reporter Cassandra Negley published the full quote:

“I think we knew we hadn’t played our best basketball.

“We also knew that, as much as they’re a team, they’re not a team, if that makes sense. They’re really good individual players, but they don’t care about each other. And you can tell in those moments. They revert back to individual basketball.

“So we knew we had to just keep chipping away, keep getting stops, keep getting rebounds, space the floor and people made good plays. But we were a team. And that’s been all year.”

Plum clearly hoped to quiet down the controversy, but the way she spoke out may have made it worse for her. Many reporters followed up by challenging her explanation.

Plum did not elaborate on how she actually meant her comment to come across. Or why various articles were clickbait rather than just accurate quotes of what she said.

It’s always the easy way out to blame the media. But if an athlete refuses to correct the record or explain what mistakes were made by reporters, it hardly works.

[Kelsey Plum on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.