Doug Gottlieb: "What would happen if Durant was locked up in Russia? If you want to tell me how important the WNBA is and their players are that’s great, but between the ‘hey, why are we flying commercial?, to ‘there is nobody there’, to ‘one of our best players ever has been in jail for two months for some trumped-up marijuana charge and we’re looking into it'... If Kawhi Leonard was locked up in a Russian jail he would be out that day or early the next morning. If it was right now and Kawhi Leonard went to Russia and they found some weed in his bag, they wouldn’t play an NBA game [they'd boycott]. I’m just trying to lay out to people the reality of it. I’m not the one who decides what you care about, I can’t make you care about a sport any more, I’m only reacting to the data, and the data tells me that nobody cares. It’s really sad. The WNBA wants her back, her family wants her back, some NBA people, and Adam Silver, but there’s literally no leveraging of anything to get her back. I find it fascinating... It’s a TERRIBLE story. Whatever your feelings are on marijuana, she’s in jail for nothing in Russia instead of being stateside and playing. And she has won Russian championships. It’s a terrible story and it gets ‘some’ attention, I’m just saying imagine if it was an NBA player? Our entire approach would be different, would it not?” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to Doug Gottlieb discuss the appalling Brittney Griner saga, and why he can’t help but assume how different the situation would be if a star player in the NBA was being detained for the same reason.
Griner was arrested on February 17th on drug charges after being detained at a Russian airport for carrying vaporizer cartridges containing cannabis oil, an illegal substance in Russia. With such a punitive punishment for such a seemingly minor infraction, some US officials have called Griner a ‘high-profile hostage’, and 'leverage' to cut down on American-imposed sanctions on Russia in the wake of their invasion of Ukraine.
Check out the segment above as Gottlieb describes why he believes the helpless series of events would have been quite the opposite if a star NBA player was unreasonably locked up in Russia, saying the NBA player would have been 'out the next day or early the next morning', and adding that it really shows how inconsequential the WNBA truly is.