Sky's Angel Reese willing to play 'bad guy role' as more eyes turn to women's basketball


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Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese wasn’t a top-three selection in 2024 WNBA Draft, but her popularity has been just as high as any rookie presently in the league.

Reese’s status as a star player at LSU took off with a national title win in 2022 and a budding rivalry with Caitlin Clark. Her popularity scored her lucrative name, image and likeness deals but also drew hate and criticism her way.

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Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese talks with teammates during a timeout in the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

That was apparent on Saturday when she appeared to cheer on her teammate Chennedy Carter following a hip-check on Clark. Reese was then fined $1,000 for skipping postgame media availability.

On Monday, Reese talked to reporters about the spotlight on her and her team. She said she’ll take the good with the bad, and if that means playing the villain, then so be it.

“It all started from the national championship game,” Reese said.” I’ve been dealing with this for two years now. Understanding, yeah, negative things have probably been said about me, but honestly, I’ll take that because look where women’s basketball is. People are talking about women’s basketball (who) you would never think would be talking about women’s basketball.

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Indiana Fever forward NaLyssa Smith (1) reaches for the ball as Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese (5) shoots during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

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“People are pulling up to games. We got celebrities coming to games, sold out arenas, just because of one single game. And just look at that. I’ll take that role. I’ll take the bad guy role. And I’ll continue to take that on and be that villain for my teammates. If I wanna be that, I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years like the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball is not just because of one person. It’s because of me too. I want y’all to realize that.”

Through seven games, 10.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. She’s seventh in rebounds per game across the entire league.

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Chicago Sky’s Angel Reese (5) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Sparks’ Dearica Hamby defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Chicago lost to Indiana on Saturday, 71-70. The team fell to 3-4 on the season.

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