Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever Teammate Had Such a Perfect Quote About Rookie Superstar’s Impact


With Caitlin Clark in the fold, things are going to look much different for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever this season, and third-year Fever forward NaLyssa Smith is welcoming the change.

The Fever, who haven’t posted a .500 season or made the playoffs since 2016, are set to play their games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis this season, which also serves as home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. That used to be the case as well, but since early in the ’21 season, the team had moved to the much smaller Indiana Farmers Coliseum, an old gym that opened in 1939.

Ahead of the season, Smith was asked how much she’s noticed the vastly increased media coverage fan interest in contrast to the previous two seasons. She had an absolutely perfect quote to reflect how ascendent her team and the WNBA is entering the 2024 season, with Clark ready to make her debut.

Fresh off of her record-breaking senior season at lowa, Caitlin Clark already has made a profound impact on the WNBA’s Indiana Fever – even before playing a single game.

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“A big change,” Smith said. “You know, we used to play in a barn. We used to play in a barn with six fans. Now we’re going to be playing in sold-out arenas, and [opposing teams] are moving [to bigger] arenas to watch us play. It’s just going to be huge for us this year.”


Some may find a 6,800-seat “barn” charming, but Smith made it clear she’s ready for the upgrade.

“I don’t miss the barn,” she confirmed with a laugh.

The WNBA has seen significant growth in recent seasons, and the debut of Clark, who became the leading scorer in NCAA history at lowa, is set to send things into overdrive in the coming weeks. The situation with the Fever’s home arena makes that clear.

The Fever, who have been among the W’s worst for years, is going from the “barn” back to an NBA arena, and ticket demand has skyrocketed since Clark announced her intent to enter the WNBA Draft, giving the Fever the chance to select her with the No. 1 pick.

Other franchises, including the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics, have similarly moved their scheduled games against the Fever to bigger NBA-sized arenas.

Clark, Smith and the Fever will open preseason play on Friday at the Dallas Wings before their regular-season opener at the Connecticut Sun on May 14. Clark is slated to make her regular-season home debut two days later, on May 16 against the New York Liberty.

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