Mark Cuban continues to insist that Russell Westbrook doesn’t fit his description of what an NBA superstar is, but concedes that the explosive guard is putting up the eye-popping numbers to qualify.
Cuban gives the edge in the MVP race this season to James Harden.
Mark Cuban's MVP pick at this point: James Harden. "He controls the game," Cuban said.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 13, 2016
Russ is putting up averages of 31.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 11.0 assists for the 15-9 OKC Thunder.
“He’s putting up superstar numbers. That’s for damn sure,” Cuban said of Westbrook as the Thunder took on the Houston Rockets on Friday night. “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.”
Cuban said in April, about an hour before Westbrook’s 36-point, 12-rebound, nine-assist performance in Game 5 of the first round to eliminate the Mavs, that a true superstar can carry a mediocre roster to 50 wins and a postseason series win. He noted that the Thunder failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15, when Kevin Durant missed most of the season because of a foot injury.
“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.”