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The Phoenix Mercury have joined in on the rivalry between veteran star Diana Taurasi and incoming rookie Caitlin Clark. The team posted an advertisement for single game tickets against the Indiana Fever, the team expected to draft Clark with the No. 1 overall pick. The post featured Taurasi labeled “The Goat” and a shadow of a player wearing Clark’s No. 22 named “The Rook.” The matchup is set for June 30 at the Footprint Center, with tickets starting at $109.

Taurasi recently spoke with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt about what rookies can expect when transitioning from college to the pros. She emphasized that there are different levels in professional basketball and that rookies will need to give themselves some grace during the transition period. Although Taurasi’s comments were seen by some fans as criticizing Clark, she also acknowledged that great players will continue to improve at the professional level. Many fans created funny videos suggesting that Taurasi celebrated when Clark lost in the national championship game to South Carolina. Clark recently broke Taurasi’s record for most career 3-point shots in the NCAA Tournament.

The Phoenix Mercury are not the only WNBA team capitalizing on the hype around Caitlin Clark. The Minnesota Lynx scheduled Maya Moore’s number retirement ceremony for their game against the Fever, as Moore is Clark’s childhood idol. Additionally, the Las Vegas Aces changed the venue for their game against the Indiana Fever to T-Mobile Arena, a larger venue that can accommodate more fans. The Aces have already sold out five home games, demonstrating the significant interest in seeing Caitlin Clark play at the professional level.

The rivalry between Diana Taurasi and Caitlin Clark has sparked excitement among fans and has led to increased ticket sales and interest in WNBA games. As Clark prepares to make her transition to the professional level, she will face a new level of competition against seasoned veterans like Taurasi. While Taurasi’s comments may have been interpreted as critical, they also convey the reality of the professional sports world, where rookies must adjust to a higher level of play. The attention surrounding Clark’s achievements and potential impact in the WNBA has generated buzz and anticipation for the upcoming season.

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