Players and coaches think trash talking is part of the game.

In Albany, New York, — It was the game-winning play from the previous year's national title match. As if to signal her impending triumph, Angel Reese of LSU waved her index finger and mimicked Iowa's Caitlin Clark's previous "you can't see me" move by waving her hand in front of her own face.

In light of Monday's rematch between the two superstars in the Albany 2 regional final, the controversy around trash talking in women's basketball has been reignited.

People don't understand it's not personal, Reese stated. "When we're out of that, I'll say, 'Hey, girl, what's up?'" whenever I see you on the street. Hey, how about we hang out? Everyone seems to assume that we detest one other, in my opinion. There is no animosity between Caitlin Clark and me. I would like it if everyone could grasp that. This game is absolutely cutthroat.

As far as Clark is concerned, trash talking is par for the course. She clarified that her goal is to motivate her teammates and herself, not to humiliate or get under anyone's skin. Whether it's the National Championship or the Elite Eight, she explained, "Both of us want to win more than anything." That's the way it should be when you're a competitor in a scenario like this.

Observing that nobody appears to care about trash talking in the men's game, Reese's coach Kim Mulkey wonders if the response to the players jawing and waving goes beyond a simple misunderstanding of competitive fire and into misogyny.

"I prefer not to dwell on that because it's something you can see every time you switch on the TV and watch professional games," she stated. My habit was to speak garbage. Thank goodness none of you were following me around with cameras and all that. You're bravely venturing out, determined to seize the day.

Those who have never played at this level, particularly those outside of the sport, can never comprehend, according to LSU guard Hailey Van Lith.

"It's one of the reasons people enjoy watching the game," she remarked. Think about hockey fights—I think people enjoy seeing those. We don't do it for that reason. It's what makes us unique. Our enjoyment of the game is derived from it.

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