Since Mark Cuban stated Tuesday that he would consider drafting Baylor basketball standout Brittney Griner — a move that may or may not have been a typical Cuban publicity stunt — the debate has reignited over whether a woman could succeed in the NBA.
Well, if you ask Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, the question is a no-brainer.
“There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player,” Battier told ESPN.com on Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s Griner or if it’s someone who is 5 years old right now, but we’ll see it. It’ll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”
But Battier believes that Griner — who, at 6-foot-8, plays a bruising, in-the-paint style — would have an exponentially more difficult time than smaller, point-guard type based on the pure physical strength it takes to compete with the NBA’s bigs down low.
“I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we’ll see a female LeBron,” he said. “You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women’s game has ever seen, but that won’t cut it in the NBA. She’d have to be a physical specimen.
“”Look, I’m 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and I guard [Pacers power forward] David West and [Bulls power forward] Carlos Boozer. I lift weights twice a week and I think I’m strong as a 34-year-old man. And I struggle with those guys.”
Griner, who ended her career at Baylor with a loss to Louisville in the Elite Eight, is a near lock to be drafted No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft on April 15. She responded to Cuban’s proposition via Twitter on Wednesday. [tweet https://twitter.com/Brittney4Griner/statuses/319526083106074624 align=’center’]
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