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Women to join NBA soon?

December 12, 2009

David Stern, commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s Basketball Association (WNBA), recently said in an interview that within 10 years, women could and should join the NBA.  Ian Thomsen, a writer for Sports Illustrated ,wrote an article about the possibility of women playing in the NBA in which he said in his first sentence:

This will be the sports equivalent of putting a man on the moon…and I’m not the only believer.

Holy. Crap. This is a very big deal. The man who powers the basketball world thinks that women will join the NBA in the next 10 years! Thomsen agrees with Stern, and gives five reasons as to how and why this could happen:

  • David Stern  thinks it would happen (see above).
  • It would be a huge story (again, see above).
  • Women’s basketball continues to improve tremendously.
  • NBA rules changes have opened the door.
  • The first woman will be greeted with newfound respect.
    • This is really cool: Thomsen gives the example of Ann Meyers Drysdale, who is the only woman to sign an NBA contact (Meyers now plays for the WNBA team the Phoenix Mercury). She signed in 1979 with the Indiana Pacers, who released her before the season started.
    • “I had been liked by the media at that time,” said the 5-9 Meyers, but that changed when she joined the Pacers. “I recall at the press conference that I was attacked pretty good by the media. You know: what are you doing, you’re taking some guy’s job, you can’t compete, you’re too slow, you’re going to get hurt, you’re too small, da-ta-da. But somebody gives you an opportunity, you’re supposed to say no?”

Thomsen, however, points out perhaps the reason why Stern thinks this is because he does not want to diminish the players in the WNBA. He also points out that Stern’s thoughts were not out of the blue or just in a response to a question. Thomsen believes that Stern has thought about this before. Thomsen also says that “My own impression is that Stern was not seeking to take on the goal of signing a woman to play in the NBA.”

No matter what the real plans are, discussion of this topic is a big step in the right direction. While I am not familiar with many co-ed sports, I think that women have the strength and ability to compete on teams with men and women. Many do not see it that way; in fact, after Stern’s statement, basketball fans and professionals alike do not like the sound of women joining the NBA including Phil Jackson and LeBron James. What are your thoughts on this discussion? Do you think women should play in the NBA, or in other men-dominated sports?

4 Comments
  1. December 12, 2009 7:56 am

    This makes me even angrier about Oklahoma stealing the Sonics. 😦

    • December 12, 2009 9:53 am

      I just read about about Oklahoma stealing the Sonics, that’s ridic! I wonder what’s gonna happen with Seattle. I’m surprised; Stern seems so forward-thinking (with the whole women in the NBA) but that seems so backwards.

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