Caitlin Clark's exclusion from Team USA's roster for the upcoming 2024 Olympics has been one of the biggest stories of the last week. Clark's undeniable stardom has led some to believe she was left off of the roster due to ‘jealousy' among other players. But Bill Simmons has an intriguing theory that relates to Tim Tebow.

Once a gigantic college athletics superstar much like Clark, Tebow entered the NFL without a lot of attention. Tebow's skill at quarterback was always questioned, and it soon became clear he would not be able to be relied upon consistently at the position. Nonetheless, Tebow was awarded a few different opportunities to find a place in the NFL, including with the New England Patriots during the 2013 offseason.

Simmons, a lifelong Boston sports fan, remembers the Tebow signing well. But he also remembers the media flurry that ultimately became too much for then-Patriots coach Bill Belichick to stomach, which he believes is happening with Clark.

“The other piece of this, which I think people are missing, and I’d call this the Tim Tebow theory, which rarely happens — when somebody is such a big star, it almost becomes not worth it to have them involved on your team unless they’re just going to play all the time,” Simmons said on the ‘Bill Simmons Podcast.' “I say Tim Tebow because there was a summer, I think summer of 2013, the Patriots signed Tim Tebow as a backup quarterback. Super exciting, I was all in. ‘This sounds great, he’s the perfect Belichick player, we’ll play him at tight end, third QB, we’ll run some goal line stuff for him, it’s going to be awesome.'

“Well, what happened? The first couple of practices, all everybody cared about was Tim Tebow. It was, ‘You going to play Tebow?', ‘Where’s Tebow?', ‘You going to play Tebow?'. And guess what Belichick did; after — I don’t remember how long it was — he was like, ‘F this' and just waived Tebow, and was like ‘I don’t want no part of this.' The ensuing hullabaloo day-to-day over Tebow just made it not worth it to have Tebow. When that hullabaloo becomes too big, you better really feel good about the player, and I think with the Olympic team, to have Caitlin on the team, which everyone's like, ‘How is she not on the team? She’s going to grow the game.' Well, guess what happens is you go to the Olympics and it all becomes ‘Is Caitlin going to play?' ‘Why isn’t she playing?', ‘Caitlin only played 4 minutes,' ‘Should Caitlin play more?', ‘Is Caitlin better than this person?', and it turns into a f—ing nightmare. And they don't want that.”

Caitlin Clark's odd WNBA rookie season

Indiana Fever player Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark has been transformative for women's basketball. At Iowa, Clark helped lead the Hawkeyes to back-to-back national championship games and became the all-time NCAA points leader as women's college basketball viewership skyrocketed.

After her senior season, Clark entered the WNBA draft, during which she was expectedly selected first overall by the Indiana Fever. Things have not gone so well since then for Clark and the Fever, however. Clark, like most rookies, has struggled to adjust to the WNBA, evident by her 37.3% field-goal percentage and league-leading 70 turnovers. She has also been the target of some physical play, including a controversial shoulder check by the Chicago Sky's Chennedy Carter, that has led some to question if she is being targeted by other players and teams.

Additionally, the Fever, which have not made the playoffs since 2016, are 3-10 to begin the season. Indiana began the year by losing its first five games and eight of its first nine. In the Commisioner's Cup, the Fever have traded wins and losses, going 2-2 with one game remaining.

After a hectic opening month, the Fever are enjoying one of their longest breaks of the season and will return to action on Thursday vs. the Atlanta Dream.