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Dave Portnoy unloads on referees during Caitlin Clark's WNBA debut after huge bet

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Dave Portnoy gave the referees and coaches some business advice during Caitlin Clark's uneven WNBA debut on Tuesday.

"Dear WNBA, nobody is watching if Caitlin Clark is on the bench so maybe tell your idiotic refs not to call two ticky tac fouls on her 5 seconds into the game," Portnoy said in a post on X during the Fever's 92-71 loss to the Sun on opening night for the WNBA. "How dumb are you people?"

Portnoy had wagered $25,000 on the Fever to cover the eight-point spread, which they did not come close to accomplishing.

Caitlin Clark was obviously frustrated with officiating on Tuesday. Getty Images

Clark was called for two questionable fouls while guarding Alyssa Thomas, one just 1:47 into the game and the second 4:51 into the game, after which she was taken out.

It was a quick hook for the star rookie who has garnered much fanfare as ESPN broadcasted her debut in primetime, and fans waited in line to get into a sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena to see her debut.

Clark started the game 0-for-3 from the field and she struggled to get into a groove until the second half.

But by then, her Indiana Fever were down 10 points, and their star rookie was having trouble holding onto the ball.

Clark ended the game with 10 turnovers and was clearly frustrated with the officiating as well as some sloppy play.

Clark did not score her first professional points until midway through the second quarter thanks to the unsettling start to the game.

Dave Portnoy was furious with the referees in Caitlin Clark's debut. Getty Images

Portnoy, the Barstool founder, was not the only one upset with how Clark was being treated by the refs.

"Caitlin Clark makes WNBA pro debut, gets called for two soft fouls within first five minutes," X user @EliavAppelbaum posted. "We all came here to watch Clark play basketball, not the refs go on a Mussolini power trip and call ticky-tack fouls. Amateur hour by the refs."

Clark had seven points in the first half of her WNBA debut, going 2-for-7 from the field, but put up 13 in the second half.

Her second game will come at home on Thursday against one of the league's best, the New York Liberty.

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