Caitlin Clark addresses critics: 'I don't really care what other people say'

Just days after being taken No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft, Caitlin Clark – now of the Indiana Fever – continued her whirlwind media tour with an appearance Wednesday on ESPN's "Pat McAfee Show."

College basketball's all-time leading scorer did a quick jersey exchange with McAfee, the former Colts punter, who welcomed her to Indianapolis with a blue and white No. 22 football jersey.

Now with expectations sky-high as she begins her pro career, Clark will have to make her mark in a league filled with veterans – such as Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart – who may seem to resent her sudden popularity.

"You've got to bring it every single night because it's the best of the best. That's what I'm excited for," Clark said. "A lot of those people I idolized growing up so it'll be fun."

WNBA GAMES TO WATCH: Clark vs. Taurasi one of league's top 10 in 2024

Clark also acknowledged her playing style may rub some people the wrong way, but she said it all comes from her competitive spirit.

"I don't really care what other people say. I feel like I'm so fiery and so passionate. And I feel like that's why I'm so good too," she said.

"If I didn't have that, I don't think I would've had the success that I've had. I've been able to channel it a lot more throughout my career and use it more positively rather than negatively."

Caitlin Clark speaks in a press conference after she was selected with the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.
Caitlin Clark speaks in a press conference after she was selected with the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Even before stepping onto the court as a professional, Clark has already had a major impact on the league. This year's WNBA draft telecast shattered the previous record for television viewership, drawing an average audience of 2.45 million, and peaking at over 3 million.

However, Clark said she doesn't feel she'll have to carry the league on her shoulders, perhaps the way she did during her star-studded career at Iowa.

"I don't feel any pressure to take it to a place it's never been before," she said. "I think that's just going to happen with the way we're on TV more, with the way people are following from the college game to the WNBA."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Caitlin Clark's goal in WNBA: 'Bring it every single night'