Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would be willing to give Brittney Griner, the Baylor University 6-foot-8 basketball standout, a chance to try out for his NBA team.
Although Griner wouldn't be the first women to try out for the NBA, if successful she could be the first to be drafted.
Cuban told reporters Tuesday before the Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers that he would consider drafting Griner, a three-time All-American and Big 12 player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft.
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"If she is the best on the board, I will take her," Cuban said. "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."
Griner, a senior at Baylor, has dominated the court, scoring 3,283 points, blocking 748 shots, and sinking 18 dunks over the course of her career.
Griner heard about Cuban's comments and took to Twitter to acknowledge the possibility of her trying out for the Mavericks.
Griner wouldn’t be the first woman to try out for the NBA. In 1979, UCLA star Ann Meyers tried out for the Indiana Pacers and remains the only female ever to sign a free-agent contract with an NBA team. The NBA's draft lottery didn't begin until 1985.
Though some said drafting Griner would strictly be a publicity stunt, Cuban said he's serious about giving her an opportunity.
"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."
The news that Cuban is thinking about drafting Griner sparked lively debate on the comment forums.
"She would never be successful in the NBA," Brian Pauley commented on the ESPN story. "She played center in college and most, if not all NBA centers would at least 4 inches on her and outweight her by 80 or more pounds. Do you really think Brittney could guard Dwight Howard? Not a chance in hell."
"She would get completely dominated," Nick Ruck said. "The guys she would be faced against will be just as tall, just as athletic, just as quick, but have 50+ pounds more muscle than she does."
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"I don't like this 'she could get hurt' argument because it implies she somehow needs protecting above the other people with similar measurements entering the league," "saint1997" posted.
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