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04/04/2013

Why the Mavericks should sign Brittney Griner

Brittney-griner-grioThis lost season for the Dallas Mavericks continues to be more about gimmicks, and eighth place, than basketball.

The push for .500 and the chance to shave their beards, and now the owner is contemplating adding a girl to his team.

Mark Cuban said he would consider drafting Baylor center Brittney Griner, which is another gimick but clearly the Mavs owner grasps the concept of professional sports as well as Jerry Jones or anyone else - it's entertainment dressed as sport.

And a "Dallas Mavericks 42 Griner" jersey will be far more profitable than a "Dallas Mavericks 42 Brand" jersey. 

Adding Griner would be for discussion, which is why Cuban should do it. Let's see what arguably the best woman's player of this decade can do against guys. Even in a practice or two.

Maybe she will suck. Maybe she can hang. We didn't know what Annika Sorenstam could do until she played at the Colonial in 2003 and failed to make the cut. She didn't embarrass herself. She beat a few guys.

6a00e54f7fc4c58833017ee7769461970d-300wiPeople were upset because adding Sorenstam threatened the integrity of the game. Don't waste your time with that 1950's idealism crap - the integrity of the game is rooted in selling tickets, creating an interest, moving merchandise The real integrity of the game is business.

There is no need to waste a draft pick on Griner, but sign her to a rookie contract and give her a tryout in the summer. She what she can do. Griner has likely played against guys her whole life, so she would at least be used to it on some level.

At 6-foot-8, 207 pounds Griner's physical stature matches some college prospects. Georgetown forward Otto Porter, who is projected as a lottery pick, is 6-8, 205.

The problem, of course, she does not have a forward's game. She has a center's game, and no 6-foot-8 player in the NBA is a center. The other problem is the size of the ball; it's one thing for Griner to dunk with a woman's regulation-sized basketball; can she it do the same with a larger basketball?

And it would appear the coordination, and strength, to put the ball on the floor and hit 15-foot shots against bigger, athletic bodies isn't there.

Or we don't think it's there.

Let's find out.

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tengel@star-telegram.com

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