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Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 9:30 am  |  87 responses

Phil Jackson on Women in NBA: No Way

The Zen Master vehemently disagrees with David Stern’s prediction that a woman could play in the L within the next 10 years. And it all stems from a game that took place decades ago: “When Jackson ran a youth basketball camp in Montana early in his coaching career, he recalls pitting a state champion high school girls team against a group of middle-school boys who had never played together. The outcome of the game was so one-sided in favor of the boys that it has stuck in Jackson’s mind ever since. ‘(The girls) were all four to six inches bigger than these boys, and they got beat by 40 points,’ Jackson said. ‘It was one of those things that opened my eyes to the differences. Even though the girls had skill and knowledge as a group and the boys hadn’t played together, they just trapped and pressed and did all kinds of things that changed the game … That’s not going to happen,’ he said. Without a doubt, women’s basketball has made great strides, but I can’t see it in 10 years. I think the boys are going to increase as much as the women do in those 10 years. That’s the way we’re evolving.’”

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  • http://www.nba.com Light

    . . . .No

  • http://nicekicks.com MeloMan2.0

    the title made it seem like he would be alot more rude about the situation…

  • zabba

    Dr. Phil.

  • vtrobot

    Yeah, it ain’t happening. Can the mediocre players in the NBA go to the WNBA and become All-Stars? Silliness. Stern is an idiot who’s just creating press.

  • Yesse

    Now i doubt it would even be safe unless women take like men hormones their whole life, but if Stern agrees we have seen his dream coming true before lol.

  • underdog

    What a dumb idea in the first place.

  • German Reignman

    Didnt Serena play a tennis match against a man ranked around 200 in the rankings ? Didnt she get her a$$ beat thoroughly ?

    10 years: NO
    20 years: maybe a close game

  • Shem

    I would love to see one of those 6’5 WNBA centers that don’t even weigh 200 pounds get posted up by 6’11 265 pound dwight howard. By the way if your thinking they’d put these wnba centers at any position say SG. Just as Kobe how that would work

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    MeloMan, they title always does that. They like to stir up trouble =P

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Just like that time the title made it seem like DeRozan was hating on Jennings!

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Is that unrealistic to expect a woman to appear on the scene within ten years who can fill a niche position in a league of 400 players?
    A low-centre-of-gravity, 5’8″-6′ ball handler with a top-5 turnover-to-assist ratio would always be welcome.
    Ditto a 6′ fast release sharpshooter who can hit the trey when cold from riding the bench after 45 minutes.
    Neither of these positions require anything a woman can’t provide, and there are several of these guys in the NBA right now. Not unrealistic.
    But you have to remember that the WNBA players have spent their whole lives training to fill WNBA roles. What will take time is a woman willing to walk away from a lead role on a WNBA team to a 11th or 12th option in the NBA. That’s what will take time to arrive.

  • cru_thik305

    no way in hell will a woman ever even come CLOSE to playing in the nba. are u guys seriously considering this??!! lol

  • German Reignman

    Mike Miller ?

  • http://slamonline.com Niya-girl-fresh

    Well as a female I feel some kind of way about these comments and this subject entirely. Sure the whole physical aspect of it all is a mismatch especially between female Bigs and male NBA bigs.

    However, there are just as many talented female guards as there are male guards. The WBNA only practices skill set enough for the female athlete to adjust to. But there are alot of female athletes out there who are just as b-ball smart, talented and skilled as the men are. Sure when it comes to centers and PF’s there’s no way in hell the females can hang, but as far as guards oh yeah, the idea isn’t to far fetched.

    Remember that story about the middle school girl outshining the boys on her team and the coach got upset because she was making the guys look bad, point made.

  • Ree Roe

    I thought Sasha Vujacic was the first woman in the NBA?

    -REEcently Roe!!!

  • memyselfand9

    water is wet.

  • monkeyball

    Co-sign Dave and Niya. Theresa Wheatherspoon, for one, could handle the ball and was as quick as NBA little guys. She may not have been able to start, but definetly could’ve gotten it does as a backup. Basketball is not all about strength and hops, despite what SLAM features will have you believe.

  • http://slamonline.com NUPE

    I could see a (just 1 possibly) women playing in the L. My guess it would be a point guard with an incredible handle, can shoot open and very fast. A womane who is higly skilled could potentially make it, sort of like a Spud Webb. I don’t see any woman having the strength to play any other spot. As more women play the game, they’ll start to get more competitve and just better, and the MJ of women I could see one day being able to make an NBA squad – not as a star, maybe not even as a starter, but the very best woman in the world could potentially be the back-up 1 on an NBA team. Plus I could see some team and the L wanting to take the chance on a women as a way to increase revenues.

  • Joe

    Im convinced Deanna Nolan can play in the NBA right now! I think her and Candace Parker, are the only WNBA players who could make an NBA Roster( maybe tamika catchings also)……but Deanna Nolan, is quick, gotta mid range j, three ball, handles, athletic, can dunk, she could be a decent backup for a team in the L.

  • onions baby onions

    It still wouldn’t work at the guard spot though. Basketball may not be all about strength and ups, but no matter how quick you are, if you weigh 40 or more pounds less than everyone d-ing up on you, you’re not going to be able to get around them. That rules out a slashing guard, posts have already been ruled out and most great WNBA shooters wouldn’t be able to get a shot off in the league because of the height difference. Not saying its impossible, but within 10 years? Highly, highly unlikely. If you’re still not convinced, just picture ron artest or deron williams d-ing up the best WNBA guard/forward you can think of.

  • max

    thank you phil jackson. and no, a 5’8″ fast woman would still be slower than a 5’8″ man. i don’t mean to be disrespectful towards woman, but what phil jackson said is 100% true. It’s the same in basically every ball-sport. I play soccer on a semi-professional level and have played against professional woman, and even though it was a pretty contested game, the differences in strength and speed were still very visible. And I don’t even get why people would want women to play in the NBA, isn’t it much nicer to watch people go up against each other, whom have about the same attributes as their opponents. Unless of course, you want to pump up the women with steroids like the russians did at the olympics in the 80s… but those women really did not look like they were of the female gender anymore.
    And again, before people call me misogynistic, I don’t have anything against women basketball, I’m just stating FACTS.

  • max

    thank you phil jackson. and no, a 5’8″ fast woman would still be slower than a 5’8″ man. i don’t mean to be disrespectful towards woman, but what phil jackson said is 100% true. It’s the same in basically every ball-sport. I play soccer on a semi-professional level and have played against professional woman, and even though it was a pretty contested game, the differences in strength and speed were still very visible. And I don’t even get why people would want women to play in the NBA, isn’t it much nicer to watch people go up against each other, whom have about the same attributes as their opponents. Unless of course, you want to pump up the women with steroids like the russians did at the olympics in the 80s… but those women really did not look like they were of the female gender.
    And again, before people call me misogynistic, I don’t have anything against women basketball, I#m just stating FACTS.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Earl Boykins bench presses 315 pounds.
    If he has to do that to survive in the league, I don’t see a small female guard making it.

  • 10th wonder

    Would the Nets be undefeated had they the same team playing in the wnba?

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    He didn’t say never. He just said not in the next 10 years.

  • Ronald

    Why discuss something so unrealistic? You don’t hear people talk about the ATP tour merging together. You don’t hear people talk about female soccer players with male soccer players. There might be mixed double and that’s the only way that a female is going to play. If both teams use a female. I mean the game is played totally different. I know female FIBA players even use smaller balls than male players!

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    lol women are things

  • Nawlins Realest.

    i remember when i went to university of new orleans…..we were playing a pick up game, and because i was the only non black player in the entire gym….they thought it would be great if i would guard the womens team starting point guard who decided to join …..everyone thought she was gonna school me…..that girl tried to cross me like 5 times and i ripped the ball so easily, and i scored 20 points on her…..

  • black pinoy

    sue bird can play in the NBA ..if any contact would be considered a foul.. skill wise i believe some would be able to make it like sure bird (if she was 6’2 -4 with the same skills) but again shed get pounded on offense and defense…. can you see a 6’4 sue bird guarding say baron davis or deron williams? we gotta admit that womens basketball has gone along way and i think skill wise they would be able to compete,, but they lack the physical requirements to hang with the male players.. BAN lifting weights for male athletes and then we’ll talk..MAYBE

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man, the NBA, even with the rules changes, is way, WAY more physical than people realize. Even on the perimiter. That is a lot of beating.

  • Erika Badu

    lol @ the fools who think this could ever EVER EVER happen. NO WAY.

  • data187

    i agree with the zen master….no way this would happen in the next 10 years.

    i saw some a women’s d1 college team scrimmage with a bunch of h.s. players for practice. the h.s. players used their speed and trapped/press the ball. the women’s team ended up losing by 2x digits.

    it was exactly like phil had described.

    another example i think would be jj redick/adam morrison. they were the leading scorers in college basketball. when they get to the nba, they barely got playing time. the reason i think is because of their lack of athleticism which prevents them from getting their shots off. i bet these 2 guys would lead the wbna in scoring no problem.

    just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    I’m pissed at David Stern for even making this a topic of discussion.

  • http://www.slamonline.com barnabusb

    What if you were guarding her and touched her boobies? zomg.

  • http://salmonline Levi Yeti

    this is crazy no woman could ever play in the nba sry but women suck at ball ive watched a couple seconds of a wnba game and that was enough for me to know that no woman could ever gaurd a man think of bird trying to guard AI not gonna happen and he would shut her down this is stupid why are we talkin about it

  • LA Huey

    @Anton, you’re slipping. barnabusb totally schooled you this time…So did Phil call the game at 40+ or did he actually let it run its course? What a di(k.

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    Headline should read: “Stern: Female NBA Players within 10 years.”

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Actually, maybe this isn’t a bad idea. Taking a charge in the chest with titties would be pretty sweet.

  • freezy23

    lol i cant believe people are actually discussing this. There is no chance of women EVER playing in the NBA. But hey since men and women are both equal maybe guys should just go dominate in the WNBA. guys playing in the wnba is just as retarded of an idea and women playing in the nba.
    lol get real!

  • freezy23

    *as

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    I’d still take Candace Parker on the Celtics over Sheldon Williams.

  • tom

    lol is david stern kidding? has he watched the wnba lately?

  • Unrealistic

    This is ridiculous. Any good high school team would win the WNBA championship. A 6-ft guard that is man would be a power forward or center in the women’s game just because of his strength and leaping ability. It’s unfair to women to even compare.

  • JD

    Gotta agree with the Zen Master, not to offend any1, but with pregnancies and stuff like that, it’ll B hard 4 women to play in the NBA at the same level as men

  • Ryan

    Yeah, there is no way any woman could play in the NBA. The men are just so much bigger/faster/stronger at every position. There really is no argument here. Move along, nothing to see here.

  • Unrealistic

    The fastest women in the world in the 100 meter dash run slower than what a good high school male sprinter runs. Even those very fast, quick, good handles, good shooting guards in the wnba are slower than an average high school male guard. Men are made to be physically stronger, and because of this if they have the same hand-eye-coordination as a women, because of the sheer difference in physicality and biology, there coordination will be better. So, no Sue Bird does not have good enough skills to be an NBA player even if she was 6’4″ and 40 lbs heavier. Why do you think women use a smaller ball? It’s not even comparing the same game. It’s like comparing softball to baseball. How can the game be the same if you don’t use the same equipment? I think Women’s basketball should be called a different name like softball is not called “women’s baseball.” Netball or something would be a better alternative to “women’s basketball” as they are not actually playing basketball with that tiny ball.

  • Robb

    It’s not gonna happen and Stern knows it, but the statistics say there’s an increasing number of women buying all things NBA (Tickets, merchandise, clothes etc). It’s a growing market. Those kind of declarations bring even more interest from that target.

    Seriously, do you think Stern being the businessman he is would say that without a purpose. You don’t know the guy.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    I always thought the WNBA is the place for women to go pro in basketball. Not the NBA!

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    Eurgh… I shudder at the thought of women in the L.

  • somedude

    I remember in middle school playing against the local girls high-school team, their star center was a 6′ girl who was all national. Every front-court player on our team was shorter than her, less experienced, physical and probably less skilled. And everyone of us dominated her, without exception. It just comes down to raw strength and quickness.

  • somedude

    Also, if really good women can play in the NBA, can crappy guys play in the NBA? Talking about women in the NBA insults the WNBA; there’s a league for women’s basketball, just like there are races for women to run in. By keeping things separate we insure that there’s a place for women to compete at the pinnacle of their sport.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    I would sometimes join in pick-up games with U of R’s women’s basketball team. There was this girl who loved to post me, and I loved it when she posted me up…
    Oh, er uhm, but the bottom line is, I could drop twenty-thirty on these girls and I suck at basketball. So Phil’s right.

  • Jack

    No. Not going to, and shouldn’t happen. That’s why there is the NBA, and then the WNBA. The W stands for women, and so should stay. The NBA is for the big boys. I’m sure even Kwame Brown could score 30 on the best C that the WNBA has to offer.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Depends on who. Diana Taurasi could start on the Knicks.

  • Ricky G

    COSIGN: Barnabusb!

    I would just be macking everytime I got benched and sitting with my fine as hell team mates (they wont be fine though (well some will))

  • Ricky G

    COSIGN: Barnabusb!

    I would just be macking everytime I got benched and sitting with my fine as hell team mates (they wont be fine though (well some will))

  • Jrooks

    Yea a girl tried to play me in a game and i told her not to and they had to switch up after 5 plays from my experiense girls cannot gaurd boys true

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  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    > women suck at ball ive watched a couple seconds
    > of a wnba game
    Pretty much sums up the level of discussion here. I was prepared for school-boy omg-ing, but the level of ignorance here actually surprises me.
    First, there are numerous examples of women playing in men’s pro leagues, back to the seventies. Mentioning that you once played a girl in a pickup game as evidence women can’t make the NBA is just embarrassing.
    Second, Earl Boykins can bench 315 and Rajon Rondo can do the 40 in however-many-seconds – they’re exceptions, not standards. What do you think Ammo can bench and do the 40 in? Arguments that he sucks are not the issue – he’s in the L and that’s what we’re discussing.
    Third, if the league relies on hops and physicality too much? Reggie Miller was an All Star five times.

  • Earl

    Evolving?!? What is this, stinkin’ evolution?

  • Earl

    Anton, please just shut up.

  • J

    no disrespect to any woman here and there. ladies basketball are great, but i have to agree with Zen master here.

  • http://IJustWantMyNameToLookBig.com Chukaz

    This is completely stupid. Women will never play in the nba just as men will never play in the wnba. Men are physically superior. I’m not being sexist or anything, it’s true. Show me a woman that is anywhere near a Dwhite Howard or LeBron James.I’m talkin bout hops, speed, heigth and all that good stuff. It’s just not gonna happen. I bet we will never see a man win an important beauty pagent like Miss Universe

  • http://hsjsg.com Jukai

    Dave, come on now… Reggie MIller was not only tougher than you’re giving him credit for, but there is not one woman in the WNBA… There aren’t even two!

  • cballer

    No disrespect to women. But how are they going to go low post against guys like Dwight Howard? And maybe they will get better and better in next 10 years. Guys will get better as well. So…nah, it ain’t gonna happen.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Hey, look, I don’t honestly think a woman could be a member of an NBA roster (perhaps the best WNBA players could be a 15th player on an NBA team?) but enough of the “how will they handle Dwight on the low-post’ nonsense.
    Stern was probably thinking about a slashing point guard or spot-up shooting guard. No one thinks a 5’11 WNBA center is gonna make the NBA.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    > there is not one woman in the WNBA… There aren’t
    > even two!
    Ummm…..

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Whoops, didn’t finish that.. there aren’t TWO players in the WNBA who together could guard your average NBA player. There, that’s what I meant to say.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Seriously, though, Jukai, I give Reggie all the credit he deserves – he should have been an All-Star nearly every year he played. But I’ll bet the guy couldn’t bench press a hundred pounds.

  • slick

    simple experiment: take the MVP of the NBADL, or any first-team developmental league player. we can call that guy just about the worst player in the league, as he is right on the fringe.

    put that guy in the WNBA. witness all that “equality”. he will go for 50 every night and not give up a single point to his assignment.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    I won’t argue that, Jukai because it isn’t relevant. Not only are there are plenty of men in the NBA who can’t guard your average NBA player, there are men in the Hall of Fame who couldn’t.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Dave: First off, I think Reggie Miller could bench press well over 100 pounds. Christ, I can bench press WELL over 100 pounds, and I’m 6’3. 195 pounds. I don’t think you know how easy 100 pounds is. Durant couldn’t bench 185, but it’s not like he couldn’t even more the bar– he just couldn’t lift it up from a resting position… and I bet you, nowadays, Durant could definitely lift that bar at least once. There are very, very few women who could bench 185, and they are slow, small centers who could never make it in the NBA.
    But let’s not start there– do you know any woman as fast as Miller? I don’t. I also don’t really see anyone who has the dribbling skills as the top guards in the NBA. Really, I don’t. They are probably about equal shooters, but that’s where it ends.
    Of course, the counter-point to this debate is the existence of Chris Quinn.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    I’ll say I think a person like Diana Taurasi… maybe Elena Della Donna… they could make the 13th-15th roster spot on an NBA team… but they would never play. Probably not one game.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1015328/index.htm
    Here, read this… it’s about a championship women’s basketball team that helped become ‘better’ by going against a group of male High School ballers at every practice. These males never trained together, and were told to not be overly physical or charge in wildly for layups… and yet they were an even match.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    I am not sure what type of strong medication DAVID stern is currently taking, but it would do him good to ask the doctor to increase the dosage. A woman playing in the NBA, the same league as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard….FUGGEDABOUTIT.

  • http://rodbenson.com Boom Tho

    If They could give a good lapdance after the game, that would be just fine. A. I. would like that

  • Buschfiya

    “Earl Boykins bench presses 315 pounds.
    If he has to do that to survive in the league, I don’t see a small female guard making it.”

    Early Boykins is 5’5 155 LBS, shit I shoulda worked my way into the NBA by playin; in Europe… I’m only 5’9 165lbs… there are bigger girls then that in the WNBA…would they be able to keep up… I doubt it, but it would be fun to watch… good entertainment for maybe one night… like that movie Juwanaman or whatever haha

  • Hoodsnake

    I would love to see a woman set a dirty pick on cp3 – just watch out for that suckerpunch…seriously though nah i dont see it happening. The W is physical but stil lightyears away physically from a top flight high school program

  • Wesley-David

    hahaha

  • youngmuggsy

    Never gonna happen. Why sign a 140lb woman to be a shooter off the bench when you a sign a 6ft6 200lb man to do the same thing?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dave
    I mentioned Earl Boykins bench press because he is 5’3″. That means he faced many of the same hurdles that a woman would have to face to get into the NBA because of his size. To compensate for his lack of size, he is freakishly athletic and he is a fiend in the weight room.
    The easiest position for woman to transition from would be guard. But, guard is an incredibly physical position in the NBA which requires tremendous strength on offense and defense.
    Sure, you have players like Iverson and Nash who can’t guard anyone, but they also are freakishly talented on offense which offsets some of their weaknessess. I have yet to see a woman at the guard position who possessesed the prerequsite strength and athletic ability to play guard in the NBA.

  • wilz

    phil jackson just needs a series against the mavs to be reminded that dirk is paving the way for all females

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Jukai, she only has to be as good as Chris Quinn for one minute of one game before 2019 and me and David Stern have won the argument. That’s what I’m saying.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Allenp, I’d bet that Earl Boykins could bench 200lbs and still be Earl Boykins, NBA guard. By the way, as I said the last time this came up, Earl Boykins moving 315lbs 20″ is not the same as Shaquille O’Neal moving 315lbs 40″.
    And for the record, Jukai, I meant Reggie never did a workout that involved a hundred pound press, not can-he-move-the-bar. I’ll put money on that, because I’m the same playing weight and height as Reggie and can’t do a workout with it.

  • chintao

    Actually, I’ma have to disagree with Fphil again. Any progress being made by men is being hampered (or reversed) by all the hormones in the atmosphere and in our food. A race of superwomen and a couple of dudes who are relics from the past will wind-up ruling a post-apocalyptic (i.e., the post-’Melo/LeBrawn/D-Wade era) dystopia.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    The only woman I could see ever playing in the NBA is Juwanna Man.

  • jay

    As a female myself, I find myself siding with Phil as well. I see a couple of people making the argument about women being as talented and skilled, but the thing is, no well informed hoop head will argue about the skill set or talent of a female player, it all boils down to the physical nature of the game. I am pretty sure no sensible, mature person is trying to be sexist or mysogynistic when they say women cant play in the NBA, they are just being realistic. Stretching this topic any further will only lead to played out jokes and people making fools of themselves.

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