Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban created the exact type of buzz he was looking for on Tuesday when he told reporters that he would consider taking Baylor star Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA Draft. While Cuban basically admitted that it would be a great business move, he also insisted he is curious to see how Griner would stack up against NBA talent.
“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, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma thinks that is a terrible idea. Auriemma was complimentary about what Cuban has done as an owner, but he said drafting Griner into the NBA would be nothing but a “sham.”
“Mark Cuban is a genius,’’ Auriemma said during a conference call on Wednesday, via The Times-Pacayune. “He’s done an awful lot for basketball. But his genius would take a huge hit if he drafted her. It would be a public relations thing, a sham. To think a woman could compete to the level of (NBA players) is ludicrous.’’
We tend to agree. Cuban might not care about his genius taking a hit with the type of money he could make, but Auriemma is probably right. And coming from someone who many consider to be the face of women’s college basketball, it holds a little more weight.
Griner is 6-foot-8 and scored 3,238 points in her career. She also blocked 736 shots. If any woman was going to be able to keep up with NBA players, she would be a good candidate. That being said, I don’t think we’ve seen a woman who can.
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