Mark Cuban recently said he'd draft Brittney Griner if she were available in the second round. The very thought of Griner even playing for the Mavericks' summer league team drove conversation about whether Griner would be able to hold her own.
Opinions varied, but immediate responses criticizing Griner for not being as fast or strong, while valid, are unfair. She shouldn't have to be subjected to those comparisons. Friend of The Shadow League Jemele Hill takes a look at the other side of the coin.
Griner wouldn't be the first woman to choose to test herself against professional men's players. In 1979, Ann Meyers signed a contract with the Pacers and tried out for the team. Even though she didn't make an NBA roster, her efforts to play in the NBA never damaged her credibility.
That's not how it would work today. If Griner flirted with the NBA and failed, it would do a lot more damage. There would be an obsession with her successes and failures. Every missed and made shot would be replayed repeatedly on TV and throughout social media. Could you imagine what life would be like for the man who dunked on her, or for any man whose shot she blocked or on whom she scored? One of the greatest players in women's college basketball history would risk being relegated to being the punch line of far too many jokes. Or worse, considered a failure.
What do you think? Whether she can compete or not, should Griner give it a shot?