Sky's Carter says she's more than 'one little clip'


Chicago Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon said guard Chennedy Carter and the team “will learn” from an incident in Saturday’s game when Carter committed a flagrant foul 1 against Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark.

“Physical play, intensity, and a competitive spirit are hallmarks of Chicago Sky basketball,” Weatherspoon said in a statement released Monday. “Chennedy got caught up in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game.

“She and I have discussed what happened and that it was not appropriate, nor is it what we do or who we are. Chennedy understands that there are better ways to handle situations on the court, and she will learn from this, as we all will.”

When speaking to the media later Monday, Carter struck a little different tone than Weatherspoon did.

“I’m seeing a lot of things — players, fans not understanding who I am as a player,” Carter said. “You have to understand me as a person, too. And don’t just look at one tape and form an opinion about me. I’m truly a passionate person about the game, and I’m genuine. You can ask all my teammates, they’ve gotten to know me. They know the real Chennedy Carter. So I’m just saying, don’t form an opinion off of one little clip. And you didn’t even see the whole game and/or the play that led to that.”

During the third quarter of a physical, back-and-forth game won 71-70 by the Fever in Indianapolis, Carter shoulder-checked Clark from behind and knocked her down before the basketball was inbounded.

The play was not reviewed by game officials and was called an away-from-the-ball common foul, but the WNBA on Sunday upgraded it to a flagrant 1 after a league review. After the game, Carter didn’t answer questions about the incident with Clark but made posts about it on social media. Indiana coach Christie Sides and general manager Lin Dunn both expressed concern after Saturday’s game about the incident and the physical play that Clark, the No. 1 draft pick, has faced this season.

We kind of went through this last year with [Aliyah Boston],” Sides said of the Fever’s 2023 top draft pick. “New rookies, No. 1 picks … players want to show that they’re vets in this league, and they do want to make it hard on these rookies. That’s just how it goes.

“We sent video in [to the WNBA] last year. We were making our complaints to try to figure out to help AB. Then the same this year with Caitlin. It’s the same thing. We’re going to continue to fight to try to get the calls; they see one thing, and we see another.”

Clark said on Sunday about the physical play: “You got to find a way to hold your own. I grew up with two brothers and things were very physical … so I’m definitely prepared for it.”

Weatherspoon, one of the stars in the opening years of the WNBA with the New York Liberty, is in her first season as a head coach in the league. Carter was the No. 4 draft pick by the Atlanta Dream in 2020 but was suspended during her second season — playing 11 games in 2021 — and then traded to the Los Angeles Sparks, with whom she appeared in 24 games in 2022.

Carter was waived by the Sparks before the 2023 season and didn’t play in the WNBA last season. She signed as a free agent with the Sky in February and is averaging 12.0 points through seven games.

“As a team, we will grow together,” Weatherspoon concluded in her statement, “and continue to work hard to display strong leadership and set a positive example for our competitors, fans, and partners.”

Carter’s teammate, No. 7 draft pick Angel Reese, said Monday that what happened Saturday and with physical play in general is “just competition.” Against Connecticut on May 25, Sun veteran Alyssa Thomas extended her arm into Reese’s neck and pushed Reese toward the floor. Reese took a hard fall but returned to game action. Thomas was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game.

“You’ve got to realize all of us have a story. Chennedy has been out of the league. I’ve had a story behind me,” Reese said. “People are going to have their misconceptions about each one of us on this team.

“Everybody doesn’t get this opportunity. So when we go out there and play super hard, compete every single day, it’s not personal. I promise you — it’s based off our stories and where we’ve come from. … We’ve come from so many different places that you guys have never seen or would never understand. So just being able to go out there and play with that chip on our shoulder every single night, that’s just what we do and that’s just who we are, and you have to accept that.”

Reese, who led LSU to the 2023 national championship, also said enough credit isn’t going to her and others for how they spurred the growth of the women’s game.

“I think so many people are watching women’s basketball right now. It all started from the national championship game [in 2023],” Reese said of LSU’s victory over Iowa. “I’ve been dealing with this for two years now. And understanding that, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me, but, honestly, I’ll take that. Because look where women’s basketball is.

“People are pulling up to games, we’ve got celebrities coming to games, sold-out arenas just because of one single game. I’ll take that role. And I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like, ‘The reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person. It’s because of me, too.’ And I want you to realize that.

“It’s not just because of one person. A lot of us have done so much for this game. There are so many great players in this league that have deserved this for a really, really long time. Luckily, it’s coming now.”



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