Last night, Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban tantalized NBA fans by entertaining the idea of drafting one of the most dominant college basketball players of all time. Why has this become such a hotbed of debate?
Oh, I forgot to mention- she’s a woman.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said before his Mavs took on the Los Angeles Lakers last night. “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…”
Brittney Griner, the “she” that Cuban is referring to, is the most dominant women’s college basketball player ever.
She scored 3,283 points (second all-time NCAA women’s scorer) and blocked 748 shots (NCAA record for men/women) in her four years at Baylor, and averaged 24.1 points per game this season as she shot 61% from the field. The senior’s offensive production has improved through each of her four seasons as a Lady Bear, and she also became the first NCAA player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.
Griner stands at 6’8”, the same height as LeBron James, which would mean that she would have to play the SF/PF spot if she were to get drafted into the NBA. She will not be able to dominate on either end of the floor the way that she did in college, but Griner feels that she can play with the best.
After hearing about Cuban’s comments, Griner tweeted “”I would hold my own! Lets do it.” Cuban wouldn’t let her on just because she is who she is, however.
Mark Cuban may draft Brittney Griner m.espn.go.com/general/story?… …I would hold my own! Lets do it
— Brittney Griner (@Brittney4Griner) April 3, 2013
“She’d still have to make the team,” Cuban said. “I’m not going to carry her just to carry her. I don’t think, anyways. But I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to giving her the opportunity.”
An opportunity- that’s all Griner needs. She can prove whether or not she is worthy of such a chance by playing in the Las Vegas summer league, or through draft workouts. This is something that has never been done before (a female player in the NBA), but who is to say that she doesn’t deserve a chance?
If she fails, she fails. If this trial doesn’t work out, she will go on to dominate in the WNBA. However, for a player who has trampled every obstacle she’s seen over the course of her entire career, it’s fair to at least see what Griner can do in the NBA.