LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 08: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban holds up one of Floyd Mayweather Jrs. belts before Mayweather Jr. took on Ricky Hatton of England in their WBC world welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Brittney Griner just closed out a dominant career as a women’s basketball player at Baylor, and she is likely headed to the pros. But will that be the NBA or the WNBA?
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who is known for being an outside-the-box thinker, says he is open to giving the 6-foot-8 star center a shot to see if she can play in the NBA. Cuban told ESPN Dallas’ Tim McMahon before Tuesday’s Mavericks-Los Angeles Lakers game that he would consider selecting Griner in the second-round of the NBA Draft.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said, per McMahon. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”
Cuban also reportedly told McMahon that he would at least be open to inviting her to play for the team’s summer league squad. Not only is Cuban curious to see whether Griner can play at an NBA level, but he also knows such a signing would be great for business.
“That’d sell out a few games,” he said.
Cuban told McMahon he would not carry Griner on the team unless she earned a spot.
ESPN notes that a woman trying out for an NBA team would not be unprecedented. In 1979, Ann Meyers tried out for the Indiana Pacers.
If anyone deserves a shot to compete with the men, it probably is Griner. The three-time All-American player blocked 736 shots in her career and averaged at least 23 points per game each of her last three seasons. I don’t think she would be able to hang with NBA players, but I sure would be intrigued to see how she would do.
Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Brittney Griner enjoys a fan’s popcorn before Baylor’s game (Picture)
Brittney Griner dunks in NCAA tournament game for second time (Video)
Brittney Griner dunks again in Baylor win (Video)