- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Tim Sharp)
Mark Cuban's Brittney Griner comments have started a debate as to whether gender should matter in the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks owner said that he wouldn't mind bringing Griner, the Baylor's women's basketball star and likely first round draft pick to the WNBA, to try out for his team.
Mark Cuban's comments about Brittney Griner came Tuesday, when he spoke to reporters before his team's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavs owner said he was "leaning towards yes" when it came to letting Griner try out.
"If she is the best on the board, I will take her," he told reporters. "I've thought about it. … Right now I would lean towards yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance."
Griner was quick to respond, tweeting that she would "hold her own" against other NBA hopefuls and on the Mavs.
"Let's do it!" she also posted. "So when do I show up for try-outs!!!"
However, various critics are urging both Griner and Cuban not to go forward with the tryouts, as they believe women- even exceptionally talented woman like the Baylor center- cannot compete with men in such a physical sport.
"Obviously Mark Cuban is a genius because he's been able to parlay some great ideas into billion dollar industries and he's done a great job as owner of the Dallas Mavericks. … His genius would take a huge hit if he drafted Brittney Griner," Geno Auriemma, legendary UConn women's basketball coach, told USA Today.
"It would be a public relations thing and I think it would be a sham," Auriemma added, saying the idea was "absolutely ludicrous."
Kate Meier, University of Miami's women's basketball coach, felt similarly. She told Greg Cote of The Miami Herald that Griner's physical attributes would "probably be below par" compared to high school males, let alone the best college athletes in the country.
There are those that believe that the tryout or summer workout session should happen, though Griner may not be successful, with her 6'8" 200-pound frame- somewhat average in men's pro ball.
"There's no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player," the Miami Heat's Shane Battier said. "Just the law of averages."
"Griner has nothing to lose by trying and would only benefit herself by doing so," Los That Sports blog wrote. "If Cuban would indeed draft her, he's bringing more positive publicity to his franchise. It's a win for both sides. Griner should at least test the process."