There are few more respected NBA minds than Shane Battier. The Duke graduate is widely regarded as one of the brightest players in the NBA, and many think he would make an exceptional coach.

In other words, when Battier speaks, people listen.

The 34-year-old weighed in on the topic of a female NBA player, a conversation which has been spurred by Mark Cuban's interest in drafting Baylor star Brittney Griner. Battier's answer to the question of whether a female could play in the NBA might surprise some people, seeing as others, like Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, have laughed at the idea.

Battier told ESPN.com that he thinks a female player will make the NBA, and it could happen soon.

"I don't know if it's Griner or if it's someone who is 5 years old right now," Battier said. "But we'll see it. It'll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages."

Battier knows a thing or two about extraordinary athletes, having played alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Yao Ming in his career. And so he says it's not entirely impossible for a woman to come along with previously unmatched athleticism.

"I don't think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we'll see a female LeBron," Battier said. "You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women's game has ever seen, but that won't cut it in the NBA. She'd have to be a physical specimen."

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