Will We Ever See A Female Basketball Player In The NBA?
Miami Heat forward Shane Battier believes that, one day, we will see a woman play in the NBA. It might not be next year or the year after that or even ten years from now. But, sometime in the not-so-distant future, the former Duke standout believes that a female basketball player will come along and be so good that she gets the chance to play in the NBA. And, while his idea might not seem so far-fetched given all the hype that Baylor center Brittney Griner is receiving right now, his comments are raising some eyebrows.
“I don’t know if it’s Griner or if it’s someone who is 5 years old right now,” Battier said yesterday. “But we’ll see it. It’ll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”
Battier concedes that, in order for a female basketball player to survive in the league, she would need to be a freak of nature like his current teammate LeBron James. But, he still thinks that it’s a possibility.
“I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we’ll see a female LeBron,” he said. “You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women’s game has ever seen, but that won’t cut it in the NBA. She’d have to be a physical specimen.”
Battier is right. A female NBA prospect would have to be talented as well as built to play in the NBA in order to make it in the league. The problem that players like Griner have is that, while they’re able to dominate female competition with their size, they would are merely average compared to NBA players. For instance, Griner is 6’8″, but she weighs less than 200 pounds. In some cases, that would make her more than 100 pounds lighter than a male counterpart playing down low in the NBA, which would make it virtually impossible for her to compete.
As of right now, there is absolutely no chance that Griner—or any other female basketball player, for that matter—will play in the NBA anytime soon. That’s not to say that it’ll never happen. But, in order for a woman to play in the NBA, she would have to be LeBron-like both in skill and in stature. And, even then, she would likely have a tough time competing against any elite NBA players, let alone guys who sit on the end of the bench.