Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes that Baylor Bears center Brittney Griner deserves a shot at making an NBA team, and Miami Heat forward Shane Battier might be willing to disagree. That doesn't mean he thinks there won't be a female basketball player capable of making an NBA team in the future.
Battier told ESPN's Tom Haberstroh that there's "no doubt" a female player will play in the NBA "in our lifetime":
"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."
Such a player would have to be a quick, athlete player and not a center, according to Battier. An easy comparison would be to the Heat forward's teammate, LeBron James. Battier said that a very skilled female player would still have trouble because of the NBA game's physicality. Strength, he said, would be the most problematic issue for a female player, Griner included, to make it in the league:
"Look, I'm 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and I guard (Indiana Pacers forward) David West and (Chicago Bulls forward) Carlos Boozer," Battier told Haberstroh. "I lift weights twice a week and I think I'm strong as a 34-year-old man. And I struggle with those guys."
Earlier this week, Cuban said he would consider drafting Griner in the second round of the NBA draft. The 6'8, 210-pound center is expected to be the first overall pick in the upcoming WNBA draft.