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July 19, 2024
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Caitlin Clark at 2024 Olympics would have been nice, Adam Silver says


DALLAS – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made clear USA Basketball did what it thought was best in naming a women’s Olympic basketball team that did not include WNBA rookie sensation Caitlin Clark.

However, Silver said Thursday he would have liked to have seen Clark play at the Paris Olympics this summer.

“USA Basketball is an independent organization from the NBA and the WNBA,” Silver explained. “And I want to be fair to the selection committee. Their job and their mandate was to field what they felt was the best possible team to help the U.S. compete in the Olympics. And I have no reason to believe they didn’t do their job as they set out to do it.

“I’d say from my standpoint, and I’m independent from USA Basketball − somebody whose job is to oversee the NBA and ultimately the WNBA − I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, but it would’ve been nice to see her on the floor.”

Silver spoke to six reporters at an NBA Cares event at a Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas center, where a refurbished basketball court, a new STEM lab and game room were unveiled.

Clark, who averages 16.3 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 5.4 turnovers through her first 13 WNBA games, was not among the 12 players picked to represent the U.S. women’s basketball team in Paris, creating a controversy given her role in creating more interest in women’s basketball at Iowa and the WNBA. She starred at Iowa, setting several scoring records and became must-see hoops viewing.

“There’s no question that she’s one of the most popular players at this point in the world,” Silver said. “The ratings demonstrate that in the amount of interest we’re seeing in her. But again, my mandate is a bit different than USA Basketball’s. My job is to get more people to watch and love basketball. USA Basketball is a very specific mandate about fielding the best possible team from a competitive standpoint. And I accept that they all did their jobs the way they were instructed to. So we’ll see.

“She’s going to have a great career ahead of her. She’s already been rookie of the month in the WNBA. She’s already proving herself that she can compete at the highest level in this league and I’m sure there’ll be lots of opportunities for her to represent our country.”

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