By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Women’s basketball has never seen anything like Baylor’s Brittney Griner. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is so impressed, he may give her a shot at the NBA.
Cuban, who is no stranger to making headlines, said he’d give consideration to selecting Griner in the second round of the NBA Draft.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said before the Mavericks’ Tuesday night game against the 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, who is 6’8″, has the sort of game, and body, that not only made her college basketball’s most dominant player, but may translate to the mens’ professional game. In her career at Baylor, she dunked more than every other player in women’s college basketball history combined.
Baylor lost in the NCAA Tournament when they were upset by Louisville, holding Griner to just 14 points. The physical way that Louisville guarded Griner was panned by many college basketball fans, but applauded by others.
“She’d still have to make the team,” Cuban said. The Mavericks owner also said he’d extend an invite to Griner to play on the team’s Summer League squad, even if he doesn’t decide to draft her. “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 Baylor star has seen significant criticism for how she looks, and Kate Fagan, former Sixers beat reporter, and now a writer for ESPN, wrote an interesting piece on that, which is definitely worth a read.