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Caitlin Clark Joins Biggest Snubs from US Olympic Teams

The latest controversy in the Caitlin Clark saga is here. Why has she, everyone’s new favorite (or least favorite) WNBA star, been left off of Team USA? The 12-woman roster will compete in Paris later this July. Clark being left out would have had long Olympic betting odds, but she is simply one in a group of notable stars to be left off Team USA basketball on both the men’s and women’s sides.

 

Caitlin Clark Joins Biggest Snubs from US Olympic Teams
Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever -Brian Fluharty/Getty Images/AFP

Who Are the Biggest Basketball Stars Left Out of Olympic Rosters?

There may never be a bigger snub than Caitlin Clark. She may not be the best WNBA player right now but she is easily the biggest. Thus, there is a massive uproar in her snub. Every media member has grabbed their pitchforks crying “racism” or “idiocy”. All of a sudden everyone’s a marketing expert. But Clark, using achievements as a measurement, is far from the biggest snub.

 

1. Candace Parker (2016)

How does a two-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, and champion at all levels get left off the Olympic roster? Simple. Have a head coach not like you. Geno Auriemma was the head coach of Connecticut in the NCAA, whom Candance Parker played against many times at Tennessee.

“As soon as he [Auriemma] was named the coach again, I was like ‘Ah, well, this is gonna be interesting,’” Parker said at the time. “He doesn’t like me. I don’t like him. We don’t like each other.”

This is all kinds of petty. And when you consider Parker being the biggest women’s basketball star at the time, there should have been a bigger backlash for that. In hindsight, this may go down as the biggest snub if we’re speaking strictly of career achievements and not popularity.

 

2. Nneka Ogwumike (2020)

We can blame politics for why Parker was left off the 2016 team. But Nneka Ogwumike in 2020 still confounds us today. She was easily one of the five best players in the WNBA. But somehow, she was left hanging and it rubbed Parker the wrong way.

“You have someone that arguably, maybe [should have been on Team USA in] 2016, but definitely [2020],” Parker said about Ogwumike. “She’s the only MVP of the league. She went and got MVP of the World Games. And then you leave her off the team?!”

Indeed, Ogwumike was a six-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, and MVP at the time of the Tokyo games. In 2019, she finished as a runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year and had another MVP-caliber season. But she didn’t make it.

 

3. Isiah Thomas (1992)

Isiah Thomas embodied many things in the NBA. He was a 12-time All-Star and the face of the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons team that won two titles. But he’s perhaps known for two things: 1) being Michael Jordan’s worst enemy; and 2) being infamously snubbed from the 1992 “Dream Team”. His interview about it has gone viral.

“If I’m not a part of the Dream Team because of a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone’s hand — if that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected,” Thomas said on ESPN’s Get Up.

Rumor has it he did not get picked because of you-know-who. Any basketball head would pick Thomas over John Stockton in a heartbeat. But this just shows that any star, no matter how significant, can fall victim to politicking in these selection processes.

 

4. Dennis Rodman (1996)

Connected with Thomas and Jordan is a “Worm”: Dennis Rodman. The Hall of Famer is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, a seven-time rebounding champion, and a five-time champ. He’ll go down as one of the greatest defenders of his era. But when it came to making the 1996 team, the committee looked elsewhere.

Of course, Rodman did not make it easy for himself. He played by his own rules and his colorful fashion sense was likely seen as a distraction. But when you have players like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on the team, two shining examples of keeping calm and playing team basketball (we say this sarcastically), it feels hollow leaving Rodman out.

Still, this 1996 team went on to win gold easily as did all the other teams listed here. Likewise, the 2024 team will win gold at the Olympics with or without Clark. This one we’re confident betting online on.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

How many points is Caitlin Clark averaging in the WNBA?


Caitlin Clark averages 16.8 points on 37.3% shooting in 12 WNBA games thus far.

Can you bet on Team USA in the Olympics?


Olympic odds on Team USA women’s basketball will be available on the sportsbook.

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