Griner tryout offer raises questions of gender equality

8:51 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- No one can blame Brittney Griner for entertaining the idea of playing in the NBA.

If she actually made the team that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is tempting her to try out for, she would make history. That's a fact. But is it worth it?

"It's unfortunate it's a part of society to see if we can hang with the guys," Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve said Tuesday when talking about the issue.

It's a sad truth that when a woman reaches her highest potential, the gender gauntlet gets thrown.

It happened with UCLA standout Ann Meyers in the late 1970s, with Bille Jean King in 1973 and now 40 years post Title IX, it's happening again.

"When a female succeeds above and beyond what any boundary we've had before, the way to really validate her is to have her play with the boys," Dr. Nicole LaVoi with the Tucker Center for Research on Women and Girls in Sports said.

If Griner really wants to play with the men, no one should tell her she can't. Even the best in the women's game say so.

"If Brittany wants to do it and she sees it as a challenge and wants to see how she can hold up against the guys sure, if that's what she wants to do," Reeve said.

But Reeve can't shy away from what it would say to the Mark Cubans of the world if Griner tells him thanks, but no thanks on the NBA suggestion.

"I think it's a huge opportunity to say that, 'We love the women's game and come watch it and I'm a big reason you should watch it,'" Reeve said.

As for Cuban and his sudden interest in women's hoops, Reeve has ideas on how he could really help out and get his wish on having Griner play in Texas.

"If you are Mark Cuban and you really want to help the women, if you really are a fan, put a franchise in Dallas," Reeve said.

Griner is expected to be the first pick in the WNBA draft on Monday. If the Mavericks wish to draft for the NBA, that would happen until July.

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