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Earlier this week, the discourse surrounding No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark and her impact on the WNBA reached a new level when LeBron James and Charles Barkley shared their views. 

James, during an episode of his podcast with JJ Redick, gave Clark advice about handling the spotlight and praised her for elevating the league's stature. "Don't get it twisted, don't get it f---ed up: Caitlin Clark is the reason why a lot of great things are going to happen for the WNBA."

Barkley said on Inside the NBA that James was "100% right" and followed it up with some more direct criticism.

"You women out there, y'all petty, man," Barkley said. "Y'all should be thanking that girl for getting y'all ass private charters. All the money and visibility she's bringing to the WNBA, don't be petty like dudes. Listen, what she's accomplished, give her her flowers."

Barkley's comments, in particular, have struck a nerve within the league, and many players made reference to them on social media. Perhaps the most direct response yet, however, came from Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon on Friday prior to the team's matchup with Clark and the Indiana Fever on Saturday night. 

"We love Caitlin Clark," Hammon said. "I think she's amazing. I watch every time I possibly can. Our league loves her. We're just doing our job. We're gonna show up, whoever's on the other team is on the other team, we don't really care, we're gonna show up and do us. 

"This narrative of everybody hating on Caitlin Clark, and even the black and white thing, knock it off. It's not there. It's not there. So shut down the noise. And by the way, what is she, 22? She's a 22-year-old woman with a lot of pressure. She's not perfect, she's a rookie in this league. Back off."

Aces star A'ja Wilson added that she's "exhausted over the conversation" and can "only imagine" how Clark feels. 

Clark is averaging 17.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists through her first five games, but is only shooting 40.3% from the field and is also turning it over 5.8 times a night. Her Fever are off to an 1-5 start after picking their first win on Friday against the Los Angeles Sparks on the first night of their back-to-back.