Brittney Griner: Will She Be Mark Cuban's NBA Draft Pick For The Dallas Mavericks?
Brittney Griner was lofted as a potential draft option for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks by team owner Mark Cuban. Griner has voiced her willingness to give it a go, despite the wariness of others in the sport.
Griner, a 6-foot 8-inch powerhouse of a women’s basketball player, played four years for Baylor University as an all-star center. She averaged more than 23 points a game in each of her last three seasons, and racked up 736 career blocks – over 100 more than any college basketball player female or male. Furthermore, she’s the only women’s player to dunk consistently – slamming the ball through the hoop 11 times in her senior season.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban announced prior to the Mavericks game on Tuesday versus the Lakers. "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."
Cuban didn’t attempt to hide his awareness of the attention and moneymaking potential to be had by his statement and the possibility of her joining the Mavericks's summer team. It would undoubtedly give the franchise some marketing attention. “That’d sell out a few games,” he tellingly remarked.
Herein lies the problem that many, including Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball coach Geeno Auriemma, have with Cuban’s “bold” idea. It all seems like a cheesy marketing ploy, which makes it unfair to Griner. “If Brittney Griner tries to make it to an NBA team, I think it would be a public relations thing and I think it would be a sham,” Auriemma said in a teleconference.
However, Griner, who is likely to be the number one draft pick overall for the WNBA and go on to play for The Phoenix Mercury, responded gamely to Cuban’s NBA suggestion on Twitter. “I would hold my own,” she wrote. “Let’s do it.”