Charles Barkley on Brittney Griner in the NBA: ‘A girl can’t play against men’

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner is set to become a member of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, who have the first overall pick in the upcoming WNBA draft. That is basically a foregone conclusion at this point, but what about the possibility of pursuing an NBA career?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban created quite the stir last week when he said he was considering drafting Griner in the second round of the NBA Draft. Griner certainly seems excited about the possibility, but many people feel that it is insane to think a woman could physically compete with men. During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, Barkley let it be known that he is one of those people.

“She can’t play against guys,” Barkley said, via Nick Birdsong of AI.com. “I mean, you’re going to go at her, probably aggressively, cause you’re offended that she’s trying to play against you cause it’s kind of an insult to you. But she can’t play with men and I think whether she plays against a guy who has no…cause most of those guys, let’s…who are we kidding? Ninety to 95 percent of those guys who pay in the summer league are never going to play in the NBA.”

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma shared some similar thoughts earlier this week, saying it would be a publicity “sham” if Cuban ever did give Griner a chance to play for the Mavericks.

“I agree with Geno,” Barkley continued. “I mean, if you brought her in, yeah they’d sell some tickets to the summer league which I don’t understand what type of loser would go to the summer league anyway. But I agree with Geno 100 percent. A girl can’t play against men. It’s just a publicity (stunt). Mark’s one of my great friends, great friends. But a woman can’t play against a man.”

My gut tells me Barkley and Auriemma are right. WNBA legend Lisa Leslie told Larry Brown Sports earlier this week that Griner would have to bulk up to play in the NBA. I’m not sure how easy that would be and I’m skeptical Griner even has the skill set needed to compete against some of the best male basketball players in the world.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Around The Web

  • Hank

    She couldn’t hang against Division I NCAA kids, let alone players in the League.

  • Gene Brown

    If a woman ever competes against men in the NBA, it will be a quick point guard type with good fundamentals and not a center who will concede 100 pounds or more on the inside.

  • http://twitter.com/sportsinboundz Sports Inboundz.com

    The WNBA was created to give women a place to go that are great players after they graduate from college. To integrate the NBA would be a bad idea and the NBA is a man’s sport. Now if somebody wants to create a professional co-ed league then have at it but women do not belong as players in the NBA any more that men would belong as players in the WNBA.

  • http://twitter.com/the_great__one Jafar Martin

    Really??? And when have u ever seen a woman quick enough & sttrong enough to take the punishment for one to get through screens & get around a small strong fast man on any high level let alone the in the Association…There is no shot in hell for any female body type or position to play against a world class male….zero.

  • speedle24

    Come on folks. This is all a giant steaming load of Cuban defecation. There are only two possibilities. The first is that this is simply a publicity stunt as phony as the tennis “battle of the sexes” back in the seventies (which made promoters a lot of cash). The second is that Cuban has no clue at all about the physical game of basketball, and what would happen to a woman in a competitive basketball game. Is there nothing else we can talk about?

  • Bob Truthteller

    Chuck doesn’t have to worry. Griner has a protruding adams apple. This whole discussion is moot.