Matt Barnes calls out the Indiana Fever for not having Caitlin Clark’s back: “Y’all are supposed to protect the star”

Much of the conversation surrounding the WNBA over the last few days involved Indiana Fever rookie star Caitlin Clark and the hard shoulder block she received from Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter. WNBA players, old and new, have given their two cents about that incident while talking heads have relentlessly discussed what it means for the league and how the play will impact the former Iowa Hawkeye legend moving forward.

However, renowned commentator and former NBA player Matt Barnes took aim at the other Fever players for failing to stand up for their young teammate.

Matt Barnes on Indiana Fever failing to protect Caitlin Clark - Basketball  Network - Your daily dose of basketball

Rough rookie season

While Caitlin has been putting up solid numbers of 15.1 points, 6.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game, she hasn’t been as efficient as she was during her historic run in the NCAA when she shattered nearly every scoring record in the league. The native of Des Moines, Iowa, makes only 35 percent of her shots, including a dismal 29 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, she’s been receiving numerous hard fouls and physical play from opposing teams, leading to plenty of frustration.

Amidst all these trials, Barnes pointed out that her teammates are nowhere to be found.

“I mean, throughout the season, she’s been getting beat up. Hard screens, elbows, knocked down. It is what it is; she’s not the first, she won’t be the last,” Barnes said. “My question is, where are her teammates at? Where y’all at? Where’s the rest of the Indiana Fever? I’ve seen a couple of girls smirk when she got knocked down and half-assed picking her up. Y’all are supposed to protect the asset, protect the star.”

A familiar role

Barnes knows what he’s talking about. After all, he played the role of enforcer for many years in the NBA, known for his physicality and willingness to protect his teammates. He understands the importance of having a teammate’s back, especially when opposing teams target them.

“I was someone who protected the stars. You f**k with Kobe, CP, Blake, the list goes on,” Barnes shared.

Since time immemorial, the role of enforcer has been an integral part of a team’s dynamic. When the GOAT, Michael Jordan, was still finding his way in the NBA, he had Charles Oakley watching his back. In modern times, Steph Curry always had Draymond Green to ensure he wasn’t bullied on the court.

Protect your family

Holding a 3-4 record, the Fever are sitting near the bottom of the league. Barnes isn’t surprised by this, judging by how the players don’t always have each other’s backs on the court. Unity leads to success in any team sport, and the Fever team needs to find it quickly if they want to turn their season around.

“It’s going to be a problem because you guys are supposed to be a family, and you wonder why you sit at the bottom of the league right now. It’s because y’all don’t protect each other. The coach doesn’t do shit about it, the players don’t do shit about it, y’all should be ashamed of it,” Barnes continued.

Caitlin is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Fever’s top player and the league’s leading draw. However, her teammates appear indifferent to her struggles and don’t seem to be supporting her, especially when an opponent purposely knocks her down. As Barnes pointed out, a successful team requires more than individual talent – it takes unity and camaraderie. Unfortunately, at this point, these are things Indiana often finds themselves short of.

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