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Brittney Griner can’t compete physically with NBA players

Brittney Griner, Kiara Etienne, Kristina Higgins, Mariah Chandler

Baylor center Brittney Griner (42) grabs a rebound against Prairie View A&M’s Kiara Etienne (32), Asha Hampton-Finch (44) and Gabrielle Scott (11) in the second half of a first-round game in the women’s NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday March 24, 2013, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Mark Cuban’s declaration that he’d consider drafting Brittney Griner has drawn plenty of attention. But idea is completely preposterous, though I suspect Cuban knew that when he made his look-at-me statement. (To to be fair, I’ve certainly indulged him.)

Without question, Griner is a dominant women’s basketball player capable of great things in her sport. But she’s a 6-foot-8, 175-pound interior player who excels, in part, because she holds a physical advantage over her peers.

Here are the tallest starters Griner faced in her 36 games this season (in green) and the 36 shortest players considered forward-centers, center-forwards or centers by Basketball-Reference (in gold):


Griner’s tallest opposing starter was shorter than the shortest NBA center.

And she doesn’t make up for the gap with great (by NBA standards) leaping ability. Thanks to the following video, we know a bit more about Griner’s physical profile:

Griner has an 11-foot one-step vertical reach. It’s unclear what her max vertical reach is, but let’s generously add 3 inches to her one-step vertical to give her a max vertical of 11-foot-3.

That would put her in line with Damian Lillard, George Hill and Nate Robinson.

These numbers shouldn’t detract from Griner’s greatness, but her greatness is limited to women’s basketball and doesn’t extend to the NBA. There’s no shame in that, but the Mavericks should be ashamed if they actually draft her (which they never, never, never would, anyway).