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Shane Battier: ‘There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player’

Apr 4, 2013, 6:12 PM EDT

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Mark Cuban’s look-at-me claim that he’d draft Brittney Griner has mostly been met with skepticism for the idea, but Shane Battier says just because Griner might not make the NBA, that doesn’t mean no woman will. Via Tom Haberstroh of ESPN:

“There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player,” Battier told ESPN.com after Thursday’s Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“I don’t know if it’s Griner or if it’s someone who is 5 years old right now,” Battier said. “But we’ll see it. It’ll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”

I don’t think there will be a female NBA player in our lifetime – the size/athleticism gap is just too extreme – but I wouldn’t call it impossible. If a woman makes the NBA, it won’t be an interior player like Griner. It will be one of two types:

1. A lights-out outside shooter who’s tall enough to get her shot off without creating a lot of space.

2. A small, lightning-quick point guard whose first step allows her to get layups or create passing lanes before the defense can react.

  1. jwayne03 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    There already was… Reggie Miller

    • money2long - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      his sister would’ve put in work i nthe nba, for sure.

      • elcapitanfiscal - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        That was funny dude, here take my like

  2. bigtrav425 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Mr Shane was on some hardcore drugs when he said that!

  3. kb2408 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I agree with your second option. If a woman ever makes an NBA team it will probably be as a point guard. I could see a woman running an offense and setting up other players.

  4. 23chameleons - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    If Shawn Bradley or Manute Bol can last a couple of years, I think a 7′ woman can.

  5. eagles512 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Will never happen unless its a gimmick.

  6. meast2144 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Why is this getting so much attention? She will play in professional basketball in the Womens NBA. This is just idiotic. A woman will never play in the NBA or NFL there are leagues specifically for them

  7. metalhead65 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    it will only happen when the league feels it needs to do something dramatic to increase interest in it. like racing did with danica patrick,didn’t matter if she was good or not just so they could sell merchandise and tickets.

  8. jhuck92 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Cuban likes to hear himself talk, but it could still happen. And LeBron would still complain about the physical play if it did.

  9. beagle11 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Go sit court side at a game and look at the size of these men. I did so for the first time last weekend, a few take away I had.
    1. These are not normal human beings
    2. Even the small guys are big
    3. Its a far more physical game than you see on tv or even from 20 rows back, a ref can literally call a foul on every play
    4, Bismack Biyombo’s arms are longer than my body
    5.Iman Shumpert, who looks kind of skinny on tv, is built like a brick shthouse
    6. An actual woman will never ever ever ever ever never ever ever be able to play in the NBA

    Disclaimer- If Lebron and Serena Williams somehow had a baby girl together 6 becomes null and void

    • elcapitanfiscal - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Great points.. I always try to get my basketball-hating friends just how big and strong they are, but like you said its something you can only fully grasp in person.

      for example Megatron from the lions is considered a big dude in the NFL, but he would be an average sized player in the NBA

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM

        They should’ve seen Shaq in person……un-freakin-real!

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      @ beagle11

      I thoroughly enjoyed that post! And agree 100%. Even the disclaimer, lol!

      @ Shane Battier…..lay off the sauce!!! (And this is coming from a guy with a maltliquor handle!!)

    • bougin89 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      This is by far the best take I’ve seen on this issue. 100% agree.

  10. udub - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Lets call a spade a spade. Shane Battier is just saying this because someone asked him about Mark Cuban’s comments and he didn’t want to get any negative attention by saying anything that wasn’t PC or could be misinterpreted as sexist.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      If you think Battier doesn’t just say what he thinks you don’t know the man.

  11. tomtravis76 - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    So, if we are pushing for women to play in the NBA, then why can’t a guy play in the WNBA? A guy who is looking for a shot to make some money, but say just can’t catch on with an NBA team, and his Euro team will allow him to play in the summer.

    You could take players like;Sean May,Jimmy King, or DJ Strawberry and they would have been the greatest WNBA players ever to step on the court.

  12. gildaymonster - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    All you little boys sound so threatened. I’m glad you know more about the subject than an NBA starter. Maybe if Shane sat on his couch and shoved chips in his face all night he’d become as wise as you lot.

    It is very conceivable that a woman could be better than one of the guys riding the end of the bench. If a guy as small as Nate Robinson can not only play but excel at times (I said at times) then eventually a woman could come along with the right set of skills to make a squad. No she will not be an All Star but she doesn’t have to be. I hope your heads explode when that happens.

    • bougin89 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      It’s laughable you bring up Nate Robinson. He is a physical freak of nature. He would score 50 points a game in the WNBA, probably easily.

      Look, I’m all for a woman playing in the NBA as long as it makes sense. Griner is no where near athletic enough at 6’8. She wouldn’t be able to establish position against a big man in the NBA and if you say that she is big enough to step out and shoot to make an impact it’s clear you haven’t watched her play. Griner is great, I like to watch her and when she was playing at Baylor and they were on TV I’d definitely stop flipping and watch her. She is great for women’s basketball. Key word, women’s.

      If you take the best WNBA player and try to put her in the NBA only to have her be the 10th man doesn’t that only degrade the WNBA? How does that help the WNBA advance or progress in any way?

  13. lowtalker - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    a lady would get killed in the NBA . . . to even think otherwise is to ignore reality . . it would be unsafe . . . I would not let one of my daughters do that . . . now me in the WNBA would be fun . .is hand checking allowed and would I have yo use a separate shower?

    • maddog111 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Are there really a lot of WNBA players you’d want to hand check?

  14. zerole00 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I could understand this debate if there wasn’t a league established for women (like the NFL), but why are we even having this discussion when there’s a WNBA? Seems kinda insulting to them with all this “drafting a girl” buzz.

  15. yuwannano - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Female athletes don’t have to compete with their male counterparts for validation. This is stupid.

  16. GT - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I think your #2 is the most likely, small but superfast pt guard like a Muggsy Bogues.

  17. sguy2130 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    He already plays with Chris Bosh, that is pretty close as it is.

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