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Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter has no regrets after flagrant foul on Caitlin Clark

Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter has no regrets after flagrant foul on Caitlin Clark
Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter has no regrets after flagrant foul on Caitlin Clark 02:29

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) -- Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter said Monday she has no regrets despite being issued a flagrant foul and facing widespread criticism for knocking down Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark on a dead-ball inbounds play on Saturday.

Carter bumped Clark with her shoulder, knocking her to the floor before an inbound pass during the third quarter of Saturday's 71-70 win by the Fever.

At the time, officials deemed it a common foul, and didn't review the play, but the WNBA on Sunday upgraded the foul to a flagrant-1 violation after reviewing the play.

"I wasn't expecting it," Clark said after the game. "It is what it is. It's a physical game. Go make the free throw and execute on offense, and I feel like that's kind of what we did."

Carter declined to answer questions about the incident after the game, but at Sky practice on Monday, she said she won't change her playing style, despite the backlash she has faced.

"I'm a competitor, and I'm going to compete no matter who you are, and no matter who's in front of me. So that's just what it was. Heat of the moment play. We're getting at it. We're getting back and forth. It's basketball. It's all hoops. After we finish the game, it's all love," she said. "I don't have any regrets with anything. I'm going to compete and play 100% hard, no matter who it is – like I said – or who we're playing. No, I don't have any regrets."

Carter said that kind of physical contact happens often in games, but players don't hold it against each other.

"At the end of the day, it's all love outside of basketball. When we're in those four lines, it's smoke. After, it's all love," she said. "We didn't hit her like she was out on the streets, it's just basketball."

Carter said she's already put the incident behind her.

"It's over with. I don't know why we're dragging it, but we continue to drag a play that happened and a whole fourth quarter happened after that. Multiple events happened after that guys, so we've just got to let that play go," she said.

Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said she spoke to Carter about the foul, and made it clear the behavior was inappropriate.

"All we want to do is play the game, and play the game in the right way. Unfortunately, Chennedy got caught up into a heated moment, because what we teach in here is to have a cool head in a hot game, a cool head in any situation, and that didn't happen," she said. "That was not appropriate. We don't do that. We don't act like that. We don't conduct ourselves like that. And the message is clear. The message is very clear. Lesson learned. We want to move on in a very positive way, being great examples when we step between those four lines, and do things the right way."

Weatherspoon said she believes the team will learn from the experience.

"You don't hold nothing against anyone. You just get your butts back in the gym, and do the things the right way, in the way that we're teaching and the way that we play, and of course she's playing really well right now, and that's all we want to focus on. We want her to stay focused on what we do is go to win games. Nothing else. We don't want any of these things to happen ever again," she said.

Sky forward Angel Reese, who was fined $1,000 for failing to make herself to the media as required by the league after Saturday's game, also has faced criticism for appearing to celebrate Carter's foul on Clark. She said she "was just having my teammate's back."

"Me and Chennedy are super competitive, and just have that competitive edge. I love my teammates, and I'm always going to have their backs," she said.

Fever coach Christie Sides called Carter's foul "unacceptable," and praised Clark in her postgame interview Saturday for keeping her composure through all the physical play she's faced this season.

"We're just going to keep sending these possessions to the league, and these plays, and hopefully they'll start, you know, taking a better look at some of the things that we see happening, or we think is happening," she said. "Just more happy that Caitlin handled it the way she did. You know, it's tough to keep getting hammered the way she does and to not get rewarded with free throws or foul calls. She's continued to fight through that. Appreciate that from her. Really, really proud of her for doing that."

Clark expanded on her feelings about the overall physicality she's dealing with to start her career. Earlier in the week, she expressed frustration with what she views as a double standard when it comes to contact from opponents. In the wake of the dust-up with Carter, she gave some insight into how she tries to handle those events during the game. 

"It is what it is," Clark said. "I feel like I'm just at the point where you accept it and don't retaliate. Just let them hit you, be what it is, don't let it get in your head and know it's coming. I think at this point, I know I'm gonna take a couple hard shots a game, and that's what it is. 

"I'm trying not to let it bother me, and just stay in the game and stay in what's important. Because usually it's the second person that gets caught if you retaliate or something. I'm just trying to stay in the game and focus on my team and focus on what's important."

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