Caitlin Clark or Victor Wembanyama? Gilbert Arenas Picks Between WNBA and NBA Rookie Sensations

Caitlin Clark or Victor Wembanyama? Gilbert Arenas Picks Between WNBA and NBA Rookie Sensations
Credits: USA Today Sports

The 2023-24 season saw some of the upcoming talents of basketball getting a breakthrough.

Caitlin Clark and Victor Wembanyama are undoubtedly two of the biggest names from the basketball community currently.

On the latest episode of the Gil’s Arena podcast, the crew discussed who among Clark or NBA Rookie of the Year award favorite Wembanyama was the bigger star.

Retired NBA star and host Gilbert Arenas explaining Spurs’ rise in valuation since acquiring the French phenom, has his pick clear.

“Do you know the [San Antonio] Spurs went up $500 million [in valuation] just getting the number one pick [last year]…

When the Spurs got the number 1 pick and it was going to be Wemby (Victor Wembanyama) it went up $500 million.

However, Arenas didn’t snub Clark immediately and showed his patience for the WNBA star.

[Caitlin Clark]’s already drafted… Impact? We can say whose impact is bigger.

We gotta wait until the end of the [WNBA] season because we know what Wemby has done. His season’s over with. So we’ve to wait for her.”

One of the co-hosts noted that WNBA teams are moving their games against the Indiana Fever to bigger arenas due to a surge in ticket demands as fans want to see Clark in action.

He added NBA teams did not have to deal with that when they played against Wembanyama and the Spurs.

Arenas argued that NBA arenas dwarf their WNBA counterparts and hence they do not have to change venues for marquee matches.

Arenas is seemingly not yet sold on the Caitlin Clark effect. While he did concede that he’ll wait until the end of the 2024-25 WNBA season to cast his ballot on whether Clark is a bigger star and more impactful than Wembanyama, he’s sticking with the Spurs star for now.

Victor Wembanyama and Caitlin Clark’s incredible impact

Both Victor Wembanyama and Caitlin Clark made a massive impact before ever playing in the NBA and WNBA, respectively.

In December 2022, Sportico valued the Spurs at $2.16 billion. However, only 12 months later, the team’s valuation rose to $3.25 billion.

In that span, the Spurs did not pull off any big trades, move to a new stadium, or sign a big-name free agent.

The only major change to their roster was Wembanyama’s addition via the first pick in the 2023 NBA draft.

The rookie’s addition was massively impactful in pushing the Spurs’ valuation past the $3 billion mark.

Unlike Wembanyama, who played professionally in France before being drafted, Clark was shining on home soil with the Iowa Hawkeyes and fans tuned in in record numbers to watch her hoop.

Per ESPN, the 2024 WNBA Draft, where the Indiana Fever picked Clark first overall, shattered the event’s 20-year-old viewership record of 601,000 and set a new benchmark of 2.45 million viewers. Watching the guard in action will cost a fortune, as evidenced by the ticket prices for her first game against old college foe, Chicago Sky’s Angel Reese, which have risen by 1,636%. Clark’s impact on women’s basketball is incomparable and undeniable and she’s seemingly the messiah that the sport had been clamoring for.

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