National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern told Sports Illustrated that a woman could break the gender barrier and play in the NBA within 10 years. "I don't want to get into all kinds of arguments with players and coaches about the likelihood," Stern said. "But I really think it's a good possibility." Was Stern serious -- could women compete in the world of men's professional basketball? (Watch the Los Angeles Sparks' Candace Parker dunk in a WNBA game)
No way: Today's female athletes are more athletic than their counterparts any time in history, says Jose Salviati in Bleacher Report. But it's a biological fact that men run faster and jump higher, and that men's basketball is a more physical game. "The idea of women playing in the NBA anytime, within 10 years or beyond is ludicrous."
"Women in the NBA? In a word, NO."
Never say never: Sure, there's reason to be skeptical, says Ian Thomsen in Sports Illustrated, but "who is to say that the women's equivalent of LeBron James won't show up" and make the doubters eat their words. One thing's for sure—"if a woman were to play in his league, and play well, it would have the liberating impact of Jackie Robinson's 1947 breakthrough of baseball's color barrier, but on a much greater scale."
"Weekly countdown: A woman's place could soon be in the NBA"
It would insult women athletes if it's just a publicity stunt: A star WNBA player could compete in the men's college game, says Bethlehem Shoals in Sporting News, but it's "laughable" to suggest that even a player as great as the Phoenix Mercury's Cappie Poindexter could guard, say, Dwyane Wade. If a woman comes along who can really hold her own, fine. But letting a female player into the NBA as a publicity stunt would be "condescending, pointless, and an insult to everything the WNBA has achieved on its own."
"On the NBA's gender barrier"