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Beating the Odds

A Woman in the NBA?

Physicist Niels Bohr once said, “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

His words come to mind with the reaction to Mark Cuban’s comments about putting three-time All-American Brittney Griner on the Dallas Mavericks’ draft radar.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma, the most accomplished of current NCAA women’s basketball coaches, says Cuban’s idea won’t work.

“I think it would be a sham,” Auriemma said. “The fact that a woman could actually play right now in the NBA and compete successfully against the level of play that they have is absolutely ludicrous.”

Then again, there was a time not many years ago when so-called experts said Japanese players could never make it in big-league baseball. Let’s see how that opinion looks now. We have Ichiro Suzuki, who now holds the record for most hits in a season; Yu Darvish, author of a near-perfect game earlier this week; Hideo Nomo, whose 123 wins include two no-hitters; and So Taguchi, who won a World Series with the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.

Are the experts right about a woman in the NBA? It would be fun to find out. Women compete against men in auto racing and in golf exhibitions. Seeing Griner on the court with men sounds like the next frontier. It would motivate an entire generation of young basketball players.

As Griner tweeted, “Let’s do it!”


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