There is no doubting the talent of Brittney Griner. The Baylor Women's basketball player has had an impressive four years in the college circuit and is now preparing for a life as a professional player. But will that be in the WNBA or the NBA? If Mark Cuban has his way, it would be in the NBA, something University of Connecticut basketball coach Geno Auriemma thinks is ridiculous.
Griner's basketball season ended after the team was shocked in the Sweet Sixteen of the women's tournament, losing to Louisville by one point. Now the 6-foot-8 star will prepare to enter the professional realm. Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, believes that Griner has the talent to play in the NBA and he would consider drafting her.
"I will take her. Right now, I'd lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance," Cuban said.
Cuban is not wrong about his confidence in Griner's playing ability. In four years, she landed second on the all-time scoring list with 3,282 career points. She posted up 748 blocks, the most in men's or women's basketball. She also dunked 18 times, three more than all other women in basketball combined.
However, not everyone believes in what Cuban is saying. Auriemma is thought to be one of the best women's basketball coaches in history and he is not buying what Cuban is trying to sell. He is very familiar with Griner's abilities; UCONN and Baylor have faced each other many times both in the regular season and in the NCAA tournament. While he believes that Cuban is a financial genius, he might not be the smartest owner, especially if he drafts Griner.
"I think it would be a sham. The face that a woman could actually play right now in the NBA and compete successfully against the level of play that they have is absolutely ludicrous," Auriemma said.
Cuban latered clarified on his statements about the possibility of drafting Griner. He said the Mavericks evaluate every single draft-eligible player in basketball, both men's, women's and international. He believes that it is his job to consider every single player and give everyone a shot at competing.
"As I told the media yesterday, she would have to excel in workouts to get drafted. I have no problem giving her that opportunity. I hope she gives it a shot. Nothing harms an organization or company more than a closed mind," Cuban said.
Griner later responded via Twitter asking Cuban when tryouts would be. With star Dirk Nowitzki nearing retirement, maybe Griner is the next star of the Dallas Mavericks.