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Mark Cuban is right: Brittney Griner deserves a shot to play with the big boys in the NBA

Claire St. Amant headshot
Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner has a soft shooting touch.  Baylor Athletics/Facebook
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is considering drafting Brittney Griner into the NBA.  Bornrich.com

Mark Cuban is at it again. The outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks is making headlines the world over for his comments about Baylor center Brittney Griner.

Cuban told ESPN that he'd consider drafting the 6-foot-8-inch female into the NBA and he'd have "no problem whatsoever" giving Griner a try-out on the Mavs summer league team. 

Griner quickly responded via Twitter saying, "I would hold my own! Let's do it." 

 If a male player put up stats as dominant as Griner's, he would be an NBA prospect.

Cuban's comments set off a wave of tweets using the hashtag #grinerNBA. Earlier tweets were mostly positive and/or curious about the idea of a woman playing in the National Basketball League, but they quickly devolved into bashing the three-time All-American and Big 12 Player of The Year for her gender. 

Twitter user Brandon Keating, founder of Vidfair, weighed in on the conversation thusly, "Britney Griner is too slow and not powerful enough to compete at an NBA level. This isn't about equality, it's about science!" 

Funny, I seem to remember that argument being used before to justify slavery and deny women the right to vote.

If Griner gets drafted into the NBA, one of two things will happen: She will succeed, or she will fail. The same opportunity exists for every male player, many of whom have washed out after promising college careers.

Griner's ultimate fate isn't about her gender, and it certainly isn't about science. It's a matter of skill

Yes, Griner has made a name for herself by dunking 11 times this season — a paltry sum for an NBA player. But she's also capable of knocking down long-range jumpers and three-pointers.

Griner didn't focus on that part of her game in the NCAA because she didn't have to. She'd potentially play a guard or wing position in the NBA, where her shooting skills would be on full display. 

It doesn't take two X chromosomes to fail in the NBA. That much we know. What we don't know is what will happen when a woman plays in the NBA. 

Griner doesn't deserve special treatment because she's a woman. She deserves the same consideration as any male player with dominant stats and an 88-inch wingspan.

Of course part of the reason Cuban is interested in Griner has to do with her huge marketing potential. But that's all part of a player's value to a team.

With Griner's skill and marketability, Cuban — or any NBA owner — would be lucky to her on the roster. Considering the flurry of attention Cuban's idea has gotten, who knows if she'll even be available by the second round.

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