Mark Cuban set off fireworks this past spring when he revealed his thoughts on Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, refusing to label him as a “superstar”. Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, would only label him as an “all-star”.
Westbrook, who was putting up insanely good numbers on a nightly basis, helped keep the Thunder in the championship conversation alongside co-star Kevin Durant. He played a key role in helping Oklahoma City advance past the Cuban-owned Mavericks, as well.
So far this season, Westbrook has been even more impressive, leading the league with an insane 12 triple doubles in just 23 games. Despite the scores of fans, players and analysts who’ve taken notice of his dominance, Cuban, needless to say, isn’t ready to chance his Westbrook label:
“He’s putting up superstar numbers. That’s for damn sure,” Cuban said of Westbrook (via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon). “I’m not taking anything away from what he’s been able to accomplish, but I’m not going to change my definition. He’s putting up superstar numbers. You can’t deny that.”
“That’s no disrespect to Russell,” Cuban said. “He’s been a beast. Few have done what he’s done, but I’ll stick by my definition. I’m not saying that he’s not going to prove me wrong and that he [won’t be] a superstar by the end of the year. That’s fine, but I’ll stick by my definition.”
Russell Westbrook is averaging a mind-blowing 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds per contest this season. Many are puzzled as to why Cuban still won’t label him as a superstar, as they should be.
Westbrook is putting up numbers that we haven’t seen in several years, or since Oscar Robertson back in 1962, when Robertson played 44 minutes per game. Westbrook is averaging only 37 minutes this season.
Cuban’s comments about Westbrook are (still) raising questions, and rightfully so. Westbrook deserves more respect for what he has accomplished this season, with Oklahoma City remaining a top-10 team in the league despite the departure of Kevin Durant.