Mark Cuban has predicted the National Basketball Association (NBA) will see its first openly gay player in the next 3-5 years, gay weekly The Dallas Voice reported.

Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, made his comments during a telephone interview with celebrity site

Cuban said an openly gay player was more likely in the near future than a female head coach in the NBA.

When host Harvey Levin asked, “What's going to happen first, an openly gay player in the NBA or a female coach?” Cuban answered: “An openly gay player.”

“You think it's going to happen soon?”

“I think within the next three to five years absolutely,” the gay-friendly Cuban replied.

“Is there talk about that, where people are saying, 'Hey, we've got to stop this kind of image that we have that we're intolerant.' Are people talking about that within teams?”

“Not so much, because I don't think there's really the perception that we are intolerant. I think the only issues we've had is with some fallback and some old-school type language that's derogatory to gays. So there are certain words that I think were accepted 5 or 10 years ago that guys are starting to recognize you can't use any longer, and that hasn't been a problem. So I think it will be more of a media sensation when somebody comes out than it will be a player issue.”

(Related: NBA bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.)