DENVER — When Dirk Nowitzki was asked about the possibility of Baylor superstar center Brittney Griner playing in the NBA, he kept repeating two words demonstratively: its tough.Earlier this week, owner Mark Cuban said he was open to the possibility of drafting Griner this summer. Cubans comments made the rounds nationally and not always in a positive light.Nowitzki weighed in on the controversy after Thursday mornings shootaround at the Pepsi Center.I honestly have huge respect for [Griner], Nowitzki said. She may be the most dominant female player ever in college, but I dont know if the NBA is made for a female.Its physical, there are a lot of athletes out there. I think its tough.Speaking candidly, Nowitzki offered a suggestion for Griner, who will be the top overall pick in the next WNBA Draft.Maybe if she does want to maybe try in the [NBA] summer league to see how it is, Nowitzki said. But I dont think a female, at this point, can play in the NBA.Coach Rick Carlisle admitted he hasnt watched any womens college basketball games this season, but is fully aware of Griners overwhelming talent.I know shes a helluva player, Carlisle said. Beyond that I dont want to get into the polarizing discussion about it because I think its important to have an owner that is open-minded and I think its important to be an organization that is open-minded.Ultimately, whether or not she can play is something I dont want to get into.At 6-foot-8, Griner dominated the past four seasons with an array of nifty shots around the basket, rebounds and blocks. But Nowitzki pointed out that at her height, she likely would be forced to play another position should she make an NBA roster.Six-foot-eight is about a [power forward] , Id say, Nowitzki said. We have three guys playing at 6-8 and playing [small forward], so yeah, youre kind of caught between a [small forward] and a [power forward].And theres always the argument that the speed and athleticism of the NBA is superior to any league out there and could engulf Griner.Its tough, Nowitzki said. Youve got to be fast and athletic at that spot, youve got to be able to shoot, youve got to be able to go by people, guard people on the other end, chase people off screen and rolls, or in the post-up.Its tough. Its tough.Nuggets, Kings similar?Although the records of the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings are strikingly different, Mavs point guard Darren Collison believes the teams are similar.Theyre both young teams that get up and down the floor and they present a lot of problems with their guard play, Collison said. Sometimes they each go with four guards.But weve got to be ready to get back on defense as soon as possible with each of them.After playing the Nuggets on Thursday, the Mavs play in Sacramento on Friday in the second leg of a back-to-back.Brand sidelinedCenter Elton Brand sat out Thursdays game with a sore right calf and said that his status for Friday is a game-time decision.Im in no way trying to shut it down, Brand said. Im definitely trying to get back out there as soon as I can.In 69 games for the Mavs this season including 18 starts Brand has averaged 7.4 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 47.9 percent from the field.You just want to be out there for the guys, Brand said. Its definitely painful, but a lot of guys are trying to play through ailments.Brand injured his calf March 28 at home against the Indiana Pacers.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice