The WNBA is surging in popularity in large part due to this year's incredible rookie class. Fever guard Caitlin Clark and Sky forward Angel Reese are becoming two of the most popular players in the W in their rookie years. Their budding rivalry is turning the WNBA into must-see TV for sports fans everywhere — including Magic Johnson.

NBA legend Magic Johnson took to social media to share his thoughts on the Caitlin Clark-Angel Reese rivalry. It apparently reminds him of a rivalry from his time in the NBA.

“When I think about Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s impact on the game, they remind me a lot of Larry Bird and me,” Johnson said via Twitter/X. “Our first meeting, Indiana State vs. Michigan State, in the NCAA Championship set the all-time viewership record for men’s basketball. Caitlin and Angel’s 2023 NCAA Championship matchup and their 2024 Elite Eight games were the highest viewership records at the time.”

Johnson is smart to point out that his rivalry with Larry Bird began in college and continued into the NBA. This does map nicely onto the Caitlin Clark-Angel Reese rivalry.

He also pointed out how both rivalries have increased the popularity of professional basketball and increased revenues for each respective league.

“Larry and I heightened the NBA’s overall popularity,” Johnson continued. “The Lakers and Celtics sold out arenas throughout the league and increased television viewership exponentially. The higher viewership numbers led to the NBA signing significantly larger TV contracts which then led to higher salaries for the players. Caitlin and Angel are now doing the same thing, selling out arenas and increasing the viewership. They have taken women’s basketball by storm and with expiring TV deals on the horizon, the WNBA is now in a position to negotiate higher TV contracts and increase salaries for all of the talented players.”

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese headline exciting new Fever vs. Sky WNBA rivalry

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) passes the ball against the Chicago Sky
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky suddenly have one of the most exciting rivalries in the entire WNBA.

Each team is led by their star rookie players. Caitlin Clark is coming into her own with the Indiana Fever, and the Chicago Sky are certainly glad they drafted both Angel Reese and Camilla Cardoso.

One factor that has intensified the rivalry is the intense media coverage of both Clark and Reese. The first game between the Fever and Sky set the tone for the new rivalry both for the teams and the media/fans. A controversial flagrant foul on Clark by Sky guard Chennedy Carter started a firestorm of debate. The drama intensified when Angel Reese (rightfully) spoke up in defense of her teammate.

It hasn't been all drama though. The product on the court is excellent.

This weekend's matchup was one of the best yet. The Fever were 2-0 in games against Chicago and were in command for most of their third matchup on Sunday.

However, Angel Reese and fellow rookie Camilla Cardoso put the clamps on in the fourth quarter. In the final seven minutes, Reese logged 10 points and five rebounds. She also had a crucial and-1 play to tie the game with 3:12 left. Reese also scored a go-ahead layup in the final minutes that secured a narrow one-point victory for Chicago.

Fans will have to wait until August 30th to get another glimpse of this budding rivalry.