Dwyane Wade on idea that Caitlin Clark is being hazed: ‘You gotta show us that you built for this league’

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade commented on the treatment that Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark has been subjected to since she joined the WNBA.

“This Caitlin Clark conversation with everyone hazin’, I’m lookin’ at it like, I know what happened my rookie year when I came in,” Wade said. “‘You gonna hit that ground. You bout to feel this ground if you think you bout to keep comin’ in here.’ Jamaal Magloire and P.J. Brown tapped me up every time I ran through the paint. … People say hazin’, but this is all a part of, ‘Hey, you gotta show us that you built for this league.'”

Back on June 1, Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter floored Clark in a matchup between the Fever and Sky and retroactively received a flagrant foul. It was one example of Clark perhaps being targeted by her opponents.

Clark reacted to the hard foul after the game, which the Fever won by a final score of 71-70.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Clark said. “But it’s just like, ‘Respond, calm down and let your play do the talking.’ It is what it is. … Go make the free throw and then execute on offense.”

Another former NBA star in Nick Van Exel gave his thoughts on what transpired between Clark and Carter earlier this month and suggested that the former getting into drama is good for the league.

Clark’s recent play suggests that she has adjusted to life playing in the WNBA after she got off to a slow start to the 2024 season from a scoring standpoint.

She has scored 15-plus points in her last five games for the Fever while shooting no worse than 44.4 percent from the field in any of those contests. In her most recent game against the Seattle Storm on June 27, she dropped 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor and 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range while also dishing out seven assists and grabbing six boards.

Her best scoring performance of this recent stretch came against Carter’s team in the Sky on June 16, when Clark totaled 23 points while shooting 63.6 percent from the field. She also chipped in nine assists, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks in the Fever’s eight-point victory.

Clark will have a shot to extend her streak of scoring 15-plus points for the Fever to six games on Sunday when the team is set to take on the Phoenix Mercury. The Mercury own the sixth-best record of any team in the WNBA at 9-8 and are winners of six of their last 10 contests.

Following their matchup against the Mercury, the Fever — who are riding a two-game losing streak — will take on the Las Vegas Aces — the defending WNBA champions — on July 2.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.