Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has made comments suggesting he may draft Baylor Bears star Brittney Griner in this year’s draft. Is this a publicity stunt? Or do the Mavericks really think she can play with the men?
I must admit, I have wondered how she would have done on Baylor’s men’s team. My guess is she probably could have started. She may even have been one of their better players. But this is the NBA.
Griner has been a center in women’s college ball at 6’8″. In the NBA that makes you a small forward. That is a huge difference. To be a small forward, you better be able to knock down a three-point shot. We have no idea if she can because she’s never had to. We do know she can dunk…on women. Can she dunk on grown men? Probably not.
An even bigger question is can she play defense against men? We have no way of knowing this. She’s never guarded anyone her own size and strength, much less someone bigger and stronger.
Griner in the NBA is intriguing, but not really feasible. She should go to the WNBA and dominate there. She is the type of player that could elevate the status of the league, making herself and her fellow players more money in the process. Fans will tune in that never have before. Pretty soon, writers and bloggers like us will begin to follow her exploits. Pretty soon, WNBA games will be selling out and TV audiences will watch.
After winning some championships and MVPs there, if she wants to try the NBA, then I say go for it. But to do it now is probably not a good idea. And for the Mavs, who won’t even make the playoffs this year, two years removed from a World Championship, to waste half of their draft picks on her is really irresponsible.