Mark Cuban says he would draft Brittney Griner
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is creating a media stir once again, and this time, it’s by saying he would draft Baylor University women’s basketball star Brittney Griner.
Hoopsvibe’s quick call: Either Cuban knows something we don’t or he’s just completely messing with all of us.
Cuban made headlines Wednesday when he said he would give Brittney Griner an opportunity to play for the Dallas Mavericks if she was one of the best out there.
"If she is the best on the board, I will take her," Cuban said before Dallas’ practice Tuesday. "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-50′s draft pick has a good chance of making it."
Cuban may have a point with that late-50′s draft pick thing, but it seems to me that ever since Cuban and the Mavs won a title, the outspoken owner would rather create a media buzz than manage a basketball team effectively. Because honestly, the idea of Griner playing in the NBA, and even more than that, the fact that Cuban devotes his time to this sort of thing, is kind of preposterous. Cuban has made hundreds of millions of dollars selling companies and making sounds decisions; he’s clearly competent, and has been around bball long enough, to make this decision for any reason other than the mere fact that it’d be good business.
And no offense to Griner. I want to make it clear that I have nothing but respect for what she has accomplished at Baylor University and the caliber of player she’s been in the NCAA. The 6 foot 8 inch Griner dominated women’s college basketball in her tenure. She finished her career with 748 blocks, the most ever in men’s or women’s NCAA basketball. "Her 18 dunks were three more than all other women combined" (thanks to ESPN.com for that awesome stat) and she is the first ever collegiate hoopster to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. Her 3,283 career points puts her second on the all-time list in Women’s NCAA Division I scoring history.
No question, Griner has been ballin’ hard.
So Cuban is kind of messing with all of us. Griner has been playing down low her entire career; but in the NBA, the 6’8" she stands would have her playing guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James on the perimeter. And she’s not known for being an outside shooter so on offense she’d have to switch her matchup.
Not to mention, if she’s forced to play to her strengths in the low post, bodying up with the likes of Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan. Could you imagine Griner having to guard a guy like Kendrick Perkins in the low block? One flaring elbow and it’s over. It’s not that she doesn’t have the basketball skill, but she would probably have to put on 30 pounds of muscle in the offseason in order handle the level of physicality.
So I think Cuban sees a tremendous business opportunity in carrying Griner on the squad. There’s no question it would increase the Mavs’ appeal amongst the female market, and it would probably sell a ton of jerseys. But I don’t think setting the Baylor star up for failure just to make his team more marketable is that cool. I could be wrong…
"She’d still have to make the team," Cuban commented further. "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."
At the end of the day, the fact that we live in a country where anything is possible, is a beautiful and inspiring thing.
And to Griner’s credit, she believes in her skills.
"I would hold my own! Lets do it" Griner tweeted Wednesday.
On a side note, no woman has ever played for an NBA team. Former UCLA star Ann Meyers, however, tried out for the Pacers in 1979.
So I guess any thing’s possible.
But what do you think, Hoopsvibers? Could Griner hang in the NBA? Leave your comments below!
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