Brittney Griner Rumors
The WNBA has been thrown into the national conversation about domestic violence and sports, and now is facing a decision involving sexual harassment. The league is reviewing the hiring of Isiah Thomas — once the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit — as president of the New York Liberty, an announcement that caught the WNBA president off guard. The WNBA was already immersed in a domestic dispute involving All-Stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, who were arrested two weeks ago after assaulting each other at their home. How the premier women’s sports league handles both is drawing interest.
Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and fiancee and fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson were arrested on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct following a fight at their home in suburban Phoenix. The two 24-year-olds were booked into jail in Phoenix following their arrests Wednesday and later released. Agents for the players did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Officers arrested Griner and Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, after a fight between the couple turned physical, Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis said. No weapons were involved, and neither woman required hospital care for their minor injuries, Kutis said.
28 May 13
Griner didn’t look particularly comfortable with the shot at first, but seemed to be getting it down by the end of the 20-minute session, particularly after Abdul-Jabbar adjusted the way she was holding the ball. ”She did start to get it, how I used it,” he said. ”Not everybody uses the same tool in the same way, so you’ve got to make adjustments to that. But I think with her potential and willingness to learn, she’ll do well.”
After getting a crash course in professional basketball from some of the WNBA’s best players over the past week, Brittney Griner was given the lesson of a lifetime on Wednesday with a one-on-one session on the skyhook with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But that doesn’t mean life was easy growing up. I was bullied in every way imaginable, but the worst was the verbal abuse. (I was always a strong, tough and tall girl, so nobody wanted to mess with me from a physical standpoint.) It hit rock bottom when I was in seventh grade. I was in a new school with people I didn’t know, and the teasing about my height, appearance and sexuality went on nonstop, every day. People called me a dude and said there was no way I could be a woman. Some even wanted me to prove it to them. During high school and college, when we traveled for games, people would shout the same things while also using racial epithets and terrible homophobic slurs. (That’s nothing compared with the horrendous things people call me online today — if you don’t believe me, look at the comments about me on Twitter and Instagram.)
BRITTNEY GRINER: I first came out to my mom in the ninth grade. Even though the story is kind of boring (comparatively), I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was leaning against a wall in our house at the time, not doing anything in particular. For whatever reason, at that moment I let my mom know I was gay. It wasn’t planned. It just popped out. She gave me a hug, smiled and told me she loved me, and I went back upstairs to my room. Simple as that. I knew then that it didn’t matter what my sexuality was; my mom and family would always love me for who I am. For me, the simplicity behind coming out was both powerful and beautiful. No drama, just acceptance and love.
Apparently not satisfied enough with their previous 6’8 dunking female center, the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls have taken things up a notch, signing not only the world’s greatest women’s dunker, but possibly its most dominant as well. In an official announcement posted to the team’s website today, the Golden Bulls have signed Brittney Griner for the 2013-14 season. She will replace Australian center Liz Cambage, who helped lead the team to a Women’s Chinese Basketball Association Finals appearance before they ultimately lost to Maya Moore and the Shanxi Xingrui Flame.
If an NBA team does want you or wants the publicity of bringing you to the summer league, what will you do?: Brittney Grier: “First talk it over with the Mercury. First things first, I want to be there with my new team and take care of all that first. The WNBA, that’s where my heart lies, so they’re not going to steal me away from the WNBA at all. Everybody thinks I’m going to leave the Mercury or leave the WNBA, and I’m not.”
It had been at least a few days since anybody had heard Brittney Griner’s name around the Mavericks’ offices, so it was time for Mark Cuban to bring the Baylor star up again. This time, it sounded as if he’s throwing ice water on the hot issue of her ever being in the NBA. “To clarify one thing,” he said, “we’re not going to change the approach. She would have to go through the same process as everybody. Point being, I want to get the best player, no questions.”
Brittney Griner is ready to take Mark Cuban up on his offer to draft her. The Baylor star says she’s open to an NBA tryout after the WNBA season ends. “When are tryouts?” Griner asked Saturday at the Final Four. “The WNBA is where I’m at. That’s where I’m going. After that, if I get a shot, why turn down something like that? That’s big, even if you don’t make it. Hey, at least you tried. Somebody pushed the envelope.”
In terms of the first woman to play in the NBA, is Griner the one? “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.” When asked what type of player that breakthrough athlete might be, Battier said it likely would be a quick, athletic female guard rather than a taller player such as Griner. Battier pointed to his own teammate, LeBron James, as a comparison of combined athleticism and strength. “I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we’ll see a female LeBron,” Battier 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.”
Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, who has played several pickup basketball games with women over the years, predicts that the NBA is not far away from having its first female player. “There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player,” Battier told ESPN.com after Thursday’s Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.
04 Apr 13
Cuban reiterated his interest in Griner on Wednesday. “We evaluate every draft eligible player on the planet,” Cuban told USA TODAY Sports in an email when asked to respond to Auriemma’s comments. “The chance of any college graduate selected at the end of the draft making a roster is very, very small. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t consider everyone. “As I told the media (Tuesday), she would have to excel in workouts to get drafted. I have no problem giving her that opportunity. I hope she gives it a shot. “Nothing harms an organization or company more than a closed mind.”
Then there was UConn coach Geno Auriemma who said Cuban shouldn’t waste his draft pick on June 27. “I think it would be a sham,” Auriemma said Wednesday. “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.” “If Brittney Griner tries to make it to an NBA team, I think it would be a public relations thing,” Auriemma said on a Final Four teleconference with reporters. Cuban is a financial genius, Auriemma said, but “his genius would take a huge hit if he drafted Brittney Griner.”
Even so, Lieberman, who played in the USBL in the late 1980s, said if Griner called her tomorrow for advice about the NBA, she would tell her: “Do it, girl. You can do this. You should go out there if you’re afforded the opportunity because how many people in their lifetime would? You’re going to do what nobody has ever done.”
After Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would consider drafting Baylor’s Brittney Griner, the age-old debate took off. Can the girls compete with the boys? Nancy Lieberman has a better perspective than most. “There’s not a man who would sell his soul and let her come down and dunk on him. They are going to knock her on her ass,” Lieberman, the first woman to play in a men’s professional league, said Wednesday. Since the 6-8 Griner plays the post, there is no way that she can physically compete with NBA players, Lieberman, one of the game’s all-time greats, said.
Cuban said it’s difficult to evaluate whether Griner could play in the NBA because of the caliber of her competition, comparing it to scouting players from small schools. However, Cuban said he was absolutely serious about at least extending an invitation for Griner to try out this summer. “She’d still have to make the team,” Cuban said. “I’m not going to carry her just to carry her. I don’t think, anyways. But I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to giving her the opportunity.”
Griner would love the opportunity. “I would hold my own! Lets do it.” she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night in response to Cuban.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would be willing to give Baylor women’s star Brittney Griner the opportunity to prove she could play in the NBA. Cuban said he would consider selecting Griner, a 6-foot-8 three-time All-American and Big 12 player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft. If the Mavs don’t draft her, Cuban said he would have “no problem whatsoever” inviting Griner to try out for a spot on Dallas’ summer league team. “If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said before the Mavs’ Tuesday night game against the Los Angeles Lakers. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”