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Diana Taurasi Urges Patience With Caitlin Clark, WNBA Rookie Class: ‘Give These Kids Some Grace’ (Exclusive)

Diana Taurasi Urges Patience With Caitlin Clark WNBA Rookie Class
Caitlin Clark, Diana Taurasi and Angel Reese Getty Images (3)

While celebrating her historic 20th season in the WNBA, Diana Taurasi is busy looking out for the league’s next generation of superstars. 

Taurasi, 42 — who spoke to Us Weekly to discuss her partnership with with Sanofi and Regeneron — pushed back at some of the early criticism that has been thrown in the direction of this year’s WNBA rookie class, including Caitlin Clark, for an arguably underwhelming start to their respective seasons.

“Transition periods don’t escape anyone,” Taurasi said. “That is something we all have to go through. Sometimes you find a way to get through that your first year, sometimes it takes you two years, sometimes it takes you three years. Sometimes it takes you two years to go overseas and really hone your craft and be very confident in what you can do.”

Taurasi added, “Everyone has a different journey and different path. Sometimes you gotta give these kids some grace. Their careers are so long. They’re a month into their WNBA careers. They’re only gonna get better. They’re only gonna get more comfortable with everything around them.”

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The Phoenix Mercury star also acknowledged the other side of the coin, arguing sometimes “the praise and the critical jabs, they’re just too extreme.”

Diana Taurasi Urges Patience With Caitlin Clark WNBA Rookie Class
Angel Reese Cooper Neill/Getty Images

“There’s gotta be a middle ground,” Taurasi urged. 

Taurasi further contended that much of the venom being spewed in the direction of Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and other first-year players is from male journalists who are just starting to open their eyes to women’s basketball. 

“You have to be educated in the topic. You have to have the information. You have to know the history of the sport,” Taurasi said. “A lot of the time, it is men on the forefront of the media. They know the history of the NBA. They can tell you who was the Cy Young winner in 1943. They can tell you who won the Kentucky Derby in 1944. But can you tell me who was the first champion of the WNBA?”

Diana Taurasi Urges Patience With Caitlin Clark WNBA Rookie Class
Caitlin Clark Harry How/Getty Images

She continued, “I think that’s where we’re missing a little bit of the respect for women’s sports. All of a sudden there’s a lot of eyeballs and everyone has a lot of opinions. A lot of them, in many ways, are not educated enough to make those types of opinions.”

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On the personal side of things, Taurasi is opening up about her battle with moderate-to-severe eczema for the first time. 

After she began taking Dupixent as a treatment option, Taurasi partnered with Sanofi and Regeneron to raise awareness about the everyday challenges of dealing with the skin condition — and how getting it under control has made her feel even more comfortable on the court. 

“I don’t know how many times in my day-to-day life I would have to worry about, ‘Where are my creams? What is the weather going to be like?’” Taurasi recalled. “Those things, you take for granted how much they were on your mind all the time.”

She added, “Now I can say I have clearer skin and don’t worry about my skin as much.”

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