Diana Taurasi Sings Caitlin Clark's Praises After Losing To Her

Diana Taurasi was dripping in sarcasm a few days before she and Caitlin Clark officially made their on-court introduction. The Phoenix Mercury guard famously went viral in April 2024, when she implied, without naming Clark, that the streak of success she achieved during her time at the University of Iowa wouldn't immediately manifest in the WNBA. "Reality is coming," said Taurasi while appearing on ESPN. "There's levels to this thing, and that's just life ... You see it on the NBA side, and you're going to see it on this side, where you look super-human playing against 18-year-olds, but you're going to come with some grown women who've been playing professional basketball for a long time."

However, Taurasi totally ate her words when she went against Clark and her team, the Indiana Fever, on June 30. According to ESPN, the Indiana Fever bested the Phoenix Mercury, securing a final score of 88-82. And though social media expected Taurasi's loss to prompt even more shade, she simply showered Clark with praise. "It's amazing what Caitlin's been able to do in her short career so far," Taurasi said after the game. "The one thing that I really love about her, she loves the game. You can tell she's put the work in. ... It's been a lot of pressure, a lot of things thrown at her, and she keeps showing up and keeps getting better every single game." Taurasi also foresees a bright future for the WNBA rookie. 

Fans, meanwhile, foresee a possible friendship between the pros.  

How Caitlin Clark responded to her win

Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever's win over the Phoenix Mercury put her in a prime position to get in a little well-deserved gloating. Afterall, Clark has been inundated with hate since she entered the WNBA, so no one would blame her if she embraced a petty moment. However, the WNBA rookie decided to offer Taurasi a little grace. Following the game, which prompted fans from both teams to give Clark a standing ovation, she delivered her thoughts to ESPN. "I'm just happy we won, it was cool to play against her, and obviously a really great game," said Clark. "And like you said, this crowd was absolutely incredible."

With that said, the Indiana Fever were slightly less gracious about Taurasi's loss. The team's official social media account took a little time out of their post-game celebrations to throw some undeniable shade. Alongside a photo of team members celebrating their exciting win, the team wielded a variation of Taurasi's past comments about Clark to deliver a hurtful blow. "Reality check. #FeverWin," they captioned the post on X, formerly known as Twitter, which has since amassed over 730,000 views, 19,000 likes, and 4,200 reposts as of this writing. Naturally, social media was all for the pettiness. "This might have been one of my favorite W games I've attended and marks the first time I've ever rooted against the Mercury! WHAT. A. DAY!!!!! I love women's sports!!" tweeted one fan in response.

Social media is enjoying Caitlin Clark and Diana Taurasi's dynamic

Basketball fans are often fueled by the competitive nature of their favorite pro athletes, but they have also been known to embrace sportsmanship as well. And they seem to appreciate how Diana Taurasi and Caitlin Clark interacted during the WNBA game on June 30. Surprisingly, the rivals were seen embracing ahead of the game. In a clip posted by Yahoo Sports, Taurasi happily walked towards Clark and shook her hand before pulling her into a brief hug. They also exchanged a friendly greeting. Taurasi's teammate, Brittney Griner also took a moment to greet Clark. "Love this. Y'all can kill the narratives now & enjoy the W. #WNBA," tweeted one fan, whose tweet has been viewed over 16,000 times.

Fans were equally thrilled to see Taurasi and Clark engaging in a friendly conversation during downtime in the game. "I loved seeing Diana Taurasi & Caitlin Clark on the court like this. These two never even hated each other in the first place & clearly have mutual respect for each other. Can't wait to see them play each other again. #ValleyTogether #FeverRising #WNBA," tweeted a fan, alongside a clip of the WNBA pros exchanging laughs. Another fan wrote, "Not in a million years did I expect Diana Taurasi & BG to be the ones to provide Caitlin Clark with the warmest welcome to any away arena that she's received thus far. Major credit to both of them & the Mercury organization."