Griner open to tryout with NBA team after Mavericks owner offer

NEW ORLEANS — Brittney Griner is ready to take Mark Cuban up on his offer to draft her.

The Baylor star says she's open to an NBA tryout after the WNBA season ends.

"When are tryouts?" Griner asked Saturday at the Final Four. "The WNBA is where I'm at. That's where I'm going. After that, if I get a shot, why turn down something like that? That's big, even if you don't make it. Hey, at least you tried. Somebody pushed the envelope."

The two-time AP player of the year said she first heard of Cuban's comments from friends. She jumped on Twitter to start reading up on what the Mavericks owner said.

"I was like, 'Wow, Mark Cuban. He tweeted me?'" Griner said. "It definitely made me feel good, feel special. I tweeted him back, 'When is tryouts?' I can hold my own. I'll try, too. I'm not going to back down from a challenge."

Besides drafting her, Cuban mentioned Griner playing in the NBA summer league. Griner shot that idea down, saying she was totally focused on playing in the WNBA. She's expected to be the first overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA draft April 15.

The NBA wouldn't have a problem with Cuban's offer as other women have tried before. Nancy Lieberman got a summer league shot from both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz in the early 1980s and went on to play two seasons with men in the United States Basketball League.

Ann Meyers signed with the Indiana Pacers in 1979, but failed to make it past tryouts.

Griner is well aware of the challenges of competing against NBA players.

"They are strong, definitely bigger than me," she said. "I would have to as you say, man-up. But I've never backed down from a challenge and I never will. If I get an elbow to the chest from one of those big guys, hey, at least I can say I was there and tried it."

While Griner was open to the idea, college coaches were against it, viewing Cuban's offer more as a publicity stunt.

"His genius would take a huge hit if he drafted Brittney Griner," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "I think it would be a sham. The fact 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."


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK