Since Dallas Mavericks ‘ owner Mark Cuban announced that he would welcome #1 WNBA draft pick Brittney Griner to tryout for the NBA , the proposition has been largely rejected, with some calling it “ an invitation to embarrassment .”
While most are adamant that Griner couldn’t physically hold her own against the guys, a better question is, why should she have to?
Skylar Diggins , #3 draft pick, recently sat down with theGrio to discuss the future of the WNBA, which for her, begins May 24th with the Tulsa Shock .
She also touched on strong a point made earlier this month by ESPNW ‘s Kate Fagan , who is concerned about the constant, harmful comparison of “inferior” women’s basketball to men’s basketball, further inflamed by Cuban’s announcement.
Diggins says these are comparisons you don’t see in any other popular sport:
“…you look at sports like tennis, they never do that. Venus and Serena [Williams] are powerhouses, and so are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — powerhouses, and people respect them.”
When asked why this conversation keeps coming up in regards to women’s basketball, she says:
“I don’t know. I don’t know… I just feel like, the guy down the street, if you tell me you can beat me in basketball — that’s disrespectful. I’ll smash you. Why do you think you can play with me and this is what I do for a living?”
She ends on a supportive note for her fellow draftmate, Brittney, who has made it clear that playing for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA is her priority:
“If anybody can do it, Brittney can do it. I just think women’s basketball fans would miss her.”