Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Mark Cuban may draft Brittney Griner
By Tim MacMahon
LOS ANGELES -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would be willing to give Baylor women's star Brittney Griner the opportunity to prove she could play in the NBA.
Cuban said he would consider selecting Griner, a 6-foot-8 three-time All-American and Big 12 player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft. If the Mavs don't draft her, Cuban said he would have "no problem whatsoever" inviting Griner to try out for a spot on Dallas' summer league team.
"If she is the best on the board, I will take her," Cuban said before the Mavs' Tuesday night game against the Los Angeles Lakers. "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."
Griner dominated women's college basketball with her size and athleticism, scoring 3,283 points and blocking 748 shots in her career. She also had 18 dunks, including 11 her senior season.
Griner would love the opportunity. "I would hold my own! Lets do it." she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night in response to Cuban.
A woman trying out for an NBA team is not unprecedented. Former UCLA star Ann Meyers tried out for the Indiana Pacers in 1979.
Cuban said it's difficult to evaluate whether Griner could play in the NBA because of the caliber of her competition, comparing it to scouting players from small schools. However, Cuban said he was absolutely serious about at least extending an invitation for Griner to try out this summer.
"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."
Cuban acknowledged that Griner playing in the NBA's Las Vegas summer league would have tremendous marketing potential.
"It would, wouldn't it? See how she could do?" Cuban said. "That'd sell out a few games."